08 July 2016

Cannabis instead of opiates

Medical use of marijuana has reduced the consumption of prescription drugs

Oleg Lischuk, N+1, based on WebMD: Does Medical Marijuana Reduce Need for Other Meds?

American scientists have found that the legalization of medical use of marijuana significantly reduces the use of other prescription drugs and insurance costs for them. The results of the study are published in the journal Health Affairs (Medical Marijuana Laws Reduce Prescription Medication Use In Medicare Part D).

The staff of the University of Georgia analyzed all prescriptions issued from 2010 to 2013 under the state health insurance system Medicare. They compared the consumption of prescription drugs in states that have legalized and not legalized the medical use of marijuana. Scientists paid special attention to the conditions in which cannabis preparations are used most often, in particular, pain, anxiety, depression, nausea, convulsions, psychoses, sleep disorders, glaucoma and muscle spasticity.

It turned out that the legalization of medical marijuana has the greatest impact on the consumption of prescription painkillers, including opioids. In the states where the use of cannabis drugs is allowed, doctors annually prescribe an average of 1,826 daily doses of analgesics less than in other regions of the United States. According to the head of the study, David Bradford, this, in turn, reduces the risk of overdose with such commonly prescribed opioids as oxycodone, hydrocodone, morphine and codeine.

It also turned out that the legalization of medical use of marijuana reduces the consumption of drugs used to treat anxiety, depression, nausea, psychosis, seizures and sleep disorders. However, compared with painkillers, the degree of this decrease is less: on average from 265 to 562 daily doses annually. The prescription of medications for glaucoma and spasticity, as well as the consumption of other drugs, the legalization of cannabis preparations did not significantly affect.

In addition, the study revealed the economic effect of allowing the medical use of marijuana. In the 17 states and the Metropolitan District of Columbia that adopted the relevant laws by 2013, the total reduction in prescription drug costs amounted to more than $165 million.

According to David Katz, director of the Center for Preventive Research at Yale University, who was not involved in the work, the medical use of marijuana is safe enough and serves as a valuable alternative to prescription drugs that have the worst side effects.

Currently, the medical use of cannabis preparations is allowed in 23 states and the District of Columbia. In addition, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and Alaska have legalized the use of marijuana for recreational purposes.


Portal "Eternal youth" http://vechnayamolodost.ru  08.07.2016

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