According to a JAMA Internal Medicine study released this week, when a state legalized medical marijuana, opioid prescriptions fell by more than two million daily doses a year, and those prescriptions decreased even more - by almost four million daily doses per year when medical cannabis dispensaries opened.
The finding that the reduction is higher in states with full legalization and easy access to dispensaries runs counter to claims made by members of the Trump administration, which opposes any effort to legalize marijuana.
The scientists looked at data from Medicare, which primarily gives insurance coverage to patients over the age of 65.
With opioid painkillers killing more than 90 Americans a day, the search is on for alternatives that kill pain without killing the patient. In comparison, Medicare patients took an average of 23 million daily opioid doses from 2010 to 2015.
In the second study, researchers used data on the rate of opioid prescriptions covered by Medicaid in different states to assess how changes in marijuana policy affected those rates.
Dr. Frank Lucido meets with his patient, Carla Newbre of Oakland, in his office in Berkeley. At MedShadow, she reports on new findings and research on the side effects of prescription drugs. "In many ways the recent history of the marijuana movement is recapitulating the history of the opiophilia movement that has led to our current national crisis", Madra stated in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine in March. The other at prescriptions under Medicaid between 2011 and 2016 (meaning mostly low-income Americans).
American experts conducted a number of sociological surveys, which showed that the majority of adult citizens in favor of approval of the use of medical marijuana, if the doctor prescribed the appropriate assignment.
"Maybe marijuana will turn out to have some efficacy for pain".
"[It] certainly is statistically significant, and we'll have to see whether medical marijuana plays a role in pain reduction and as an alternative to opioids" said Dr. Deming.
"I think it would be important for medical cannabis, something that is studied further".
"Like any drug in our FDA-approved pharmacopeia, it can be misused".
"We had about a 14.5% reduction in opiate use when states turned on dispensaries, and about a 7% reduction in opiate use when states turned on home cultivation-based cannabis laws", said researcher David Bradford, chairman of public policy at the University of Georgia School of Public and International Affairs.
Madras also sounded skepticism saying: "At this point we need to promote high quality, rigorous research and move away from the misinformation flooding the media with reports of miracle cures and non-addictive properties and ideal treatments to manage chronic pain".