The current trend towards legalizing marijuana is stimulating research on this topic. The Internet resource JAMA Internal Medicine has published interesting works based on more than five years of observations of Medicare (part D) and Medicaid owners.
An addiction has been found: as marijuana smoking is legalized, the number of opioid prescriptions issued in the region and their average daily dose decrease.
The first study involving people with Medicare insurance showed that 14% fewer prescriptions for opioid analgesics have been issued since the introduction of the law on medical use of marijuana. The second study, which affected patients with Medicaid, showed a lower but also noticeable result - 4%. The authors note that some patients may switch from prescription opioids to cannabis.
"We are extremely concerned - and rightly so - about opiate abuse and the resulting increase in mortality rates, so we need a fresh look at policy. If you are interested in providing people with pain-relieving methods that are not as risky as opiates, the States should consider authorizing cannabis for medical purposes".
Let us explain this topic to the Russian reader. The fact is that now there is a huge problem in the United States: opioid drug addiction. Overdose kills tens of thousands of people a year. It is profitable for pharmaceutical companies to sell more drugs, and doctors are also interested in the prescription. Simple types of insurance do not provide treatment for the disease, and strong painkillers are released to improve health.
At the same time, there is a campaign for legalization of marijuana
in the United States. The picture shows light green states where marijuana is allowed for medical purposes, dark green states where it is completely allowed.
The news looks positive, if not hopeful. However, it should be borne in mind that this is a transition from one drug to another, albeit less dangerous. At the same time, there is no significant action to prevent the abuse of opiates in the treatment, not to mention the fact that the diseases should be treated rather than jammed with analgesics on a permanent basis. But medicine in the US is primarily a business.
It's telling that one of the researchers, Hayes, notes that legalisation of cannabis is not accompanied by harm studies (they exist, but their number is small): "People are convinced of its safety". She https://gg4.store/product-category/flower/
emphasizes that there is essentially no evidence of the suitability of marijuana as a reliable painkiller: "I would say the evidence was very modest about ten years ago, <...> [now] no one will fund scientific research. Moreover, recent research has shown that opioids do not provide more effective relief for chronic arthritis pain than over-the-counter painkillers.