We have a major drug problem in this country. What may be surprising to some is that most dangerous and lethal drugs are the ones you can get a prescription for. You may even have some of these deadly drugs in your medicine cabinet as we speak.
Overdose deaths involving prescription opioids have quadrupled since 1999. You know what else has quadrupled? The sales of prescription drugs. The most common drugs that are being abused are Methadone, Oxycodone/OxyContin and Hydrocodone/Vicodin.
Opioid abuse is a serious public issue. From 1999 to 2015, more than 183,000 people in United States have died from overdosing on prescription opioids. But according to a new study, there may be a way to solve it.
In a new study, researchers found that legalizing marijuana could be linked to a lower rate of hospital discharges for opioid abuse. They looked into the discharges for opioid abuse in various states before and after they passed medical marijuana. What they found further proved what has been proven before.
The research was published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence. They were able to take the data of hospital discharges between 1997 and 2014 from 27 states. They focused on patients who had been released after either opioid dependence and abuse or overdoses.
First, they looked at 1,000 patients discharged in the states that legalized cannabis for medical use. What they found was that the number of abuses fell by 23 percent. The number of overdoses fell by 11 percent.
These findings fell in line with other studies that showed that the legalization of marijuana has been linked to dropping the number of deaths from opioid overdoses. Pot legalization has also been linked to dropping the number of prescriptions for opiates. So, why isn’t pot legal everywhere?
The research suggests that perhaps people are turning to legal pot for pain relief, rather than the painkillers. The researchers cannot be certain if that is the exact correlation, but they think that the evidence that has been found so far is pointing to that.
Currently, President Trump has been very outspoken on fighting against legalizing cannabis. While there is plenty of evidence proving that marijuana has health benefits and economic benefits, the administration seems to be ignoring that evidence. A RCG Economics and Marijuana Policy Group study in Nevada believes that legalizing recreational marijuana in the state could support over 41,000 jobs till 2024 and generate over $1.7 billion in labor income.
While research shows that the drug is keeping others from heavier drugs like heroin, there is no mention of its benefits from our current administration. Instead, the fight continues. US Attorney General Jeff Sessions even compared to two drugs as the same, ignoring any information that science has actually given us.
“I reject the idea that America will be a better place if marijuana is sold in every corner store,” Jeff Sessions said. “And I am astonished to hear people suggest that we can solve our heroin crisis by legalizing marijuana – so people can trade one life-wrecking dependency for another that’s only slightly less awful. Our nation needs to say clearly once again that using drugs will destroy your life."