Medical Cannabis Reduces Opioid Use By 11% Already?
There is a great new piece from data analytics company New Frontier Data on the use of medical marijuana for opioid addiction. The new study shows an 11% in drop in opioid addiction prescriptions in legal marijuana states. The study looks at the proposition that if the United States had a federal program allowing medical marijuana to be used for opiate addiction, the US taxpayers would save $220 million a year through health care costs and savings.
Highlights of the study include the following.
Preliminary research suggests that pain patients in medical cannabis states use 11% fewer opioids.
Average number of pain reliever doses in medical states was nearly 96,000 in non-medical cannabis states compared to 85,000 in medical states.
Nationwide, prescriptions of opioid pain relievers jumped 272% in 22 years, from 76 million in 1991 to 207 million in 2013.
The three most commonly prescribed pain medications covered through Medicare (i.e., OxyContin, Hydrocodone, Fentanyl) cost the government $1.96 billion.
If medical cannabis was available nationally, the decreased Medicare expenditures on those three drugs alone would result in $220 million in savings for American taxpayers.
New Frontier Data is an analytics firm that specializes in cannabis and marijuana. Their software program, Equio, is very popular within the cannabis community. You can reado about it in a previous story we did here.