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This One Thing is Leading to Fewer Prescription Drug Deaths
The journal JAMA Internal Medicine published a study that showed that states which had legalized medical marijuana had a 25 percent drop in the number of deaths that were related to prescription drug overdoses.
The scientists who conducted the study found that the legalization of marijuana makes it more easily available for subjects with chronic pain and it provides a much less lethal alternative for managing to control pain over the long term.
When this research program began back in 1999, only 3 states had legalized medical marijuana. The study continued through 2010, at which time it was legal in 23 states and the District of Columbia. Medical marijuana has recently been legalized in all 50 states.
The states that were studied were the ones that allowed medical marijuana at the time. The study shows that those states had 1,729 fewer overdose deaths in 2010 than in states that still outlawed medical marijuana.
Statistics from the CDC say that deaths from prescription painkillers have literally gone through the roof over the past 20 years, jumping 118 percent between 1999 and 2011. The CDC estimates that about 113 people die each day from drug overdoses and almost 7,000 people end up in hospital emergency rooms due to overdoses.
A researcher and physician working out of the University of Pennsylvania, and the lead author of this study, Dr. Marcus Bachhuber, stated that although he did expect to see some changes between states that legalized marijuana and those that did not but he was shocked that the number were so huge.
Dr. Bachhuber said that he dealt with many people who had problems with chronic pain and they sometimes told him that the only thing that worked to control their pain was marijuana. Read more how to stop chronic pain in 2015.
Doctors have been using a combination of different pain killers for quite some time, including Tylenol combined with opioids. When combinations of pain killers are used, they are generally able to reduce the amount of opioid dose, thereby decreasing the risk of an overdose.
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