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New Mexico medical marijuana program tops 50K patients

New Mexico medical marijuana program tops 50K patients

Researchers found that Medicare patients in states with marijuana dispensaries filled prescriptions for about 14 percent fewer daily doses of opioids than those in other states. One, published past year, showed that Medicare saved about $165 million in 2013 from medical marijuana laws. "There are substantial reductions in opiate use" in states that have legal dispensaries for medical marijuana, Bradford pointed out.

They found that if patients were allowed to use cannabis for specific medical conditions, they reduced their opioid prescriptions by 6 percent, or 39 less prescriptions for every 1,000 Medicaid recipients.

The studies aren't the first to show how cannabis could help with opioid crisis, which is caused by over-prescription and because people become addicted to pharmaceutical drugs to manage their pain. He also has one in Maryland where he says there's been success with opioid patients. "The potential of marijuana liberalization to reduce the use and consequences of prescription opioids. deserves consideration during the policy discussions about marijuana reform and the opioid epidemic", it says. A significant percentage of respondents also reported decreasing their consumption of anti-anxiety medications (72 percent), migraine-related medications (67 percent), sleep aids (65 percent), and antidepressants (38 percent).

New Mexico patient data reports: compared to non-users, medical cannabis enrollees "were more likely either to reduce daily opioid prescription dosages between the beginning and end of the sample period (83.8 percent versus 44.8 percent) or to cease filling opioid prescriptions altogether (40.5 percent versus 3.4 percent)". That suggest the medical marijuana laws didn't reach some people who could benefit from using marijuana instead of opioids, said Hefei Wen of the University of Kentucky in Lexington, one of the study authors.

More news: Egypt Election: Strongman Abdel Fattah el-Sisi wins with no real opposition

Two just-published clinical trials from Israel (where medical cannabis use is legally permitted) further affirm this phenomenon.

The studies didn't take the approach that other recent studies have, such as trying to determine if opioid addiction and overdoses can be mitigated by cannabis. Researchers assessed subjects' pain tolerance after receiving both substances separately or in concert with one another.

Cannabis not a gateway drug, and it never was.


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