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This One Thing is Leading to Fewer Prescription Drug Deaths
However, according to a professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Dr. Colleen L. Barry, states that allow medical marijuana allowed doctors to use it as a replacement for other types of painkillers that carried a much greater health risk.
As our awareness of the problems of addiction and overdose that go along with the use of opioid medications such as Vicodin and OxyContin, doctors might just be choosing to treat pain completely, or least in part, with medical marijuana.
The use of medical marijuana means that there is the potential to save a large number of lives. Many people are rethinking what they have been told about the relative harm as compared to the relative benefits of marijuana.
Of course some people don’t like the results of this study and doubt that a connection can be drawn between fewer deaths and the use of medical marijuana. Some people are concerned that patients might end up abusing their marijuana, as they would their prescription painkiller. There are also concerns that increasing access to marijuana also increases the risk that children or young people will begin abusing it. There really is no need to worry, however, as there has never been a reported case of anyone overdosing on marijuana.
Dr. Bachhuber and his research team would like to conduct more research so they can clearly understand the long term effects that might come with the regular use of cannabis, even for patients who have serious health conditions.
Marcus Bachhuber, M.D., researcher, Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion, Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center
John Thomas, J.D., M.P.H., professor, Quinnipiac University School of Law, Hamden, Conn
Bradley Flansbaum, D.O., M.P.H., hospitalist, Lenox Hill Hospital, New York City; Aug. 25, 2014, JAMA Internal Medicine