The title is no shock to anyone who follows the medical marijuana industry at all. Prescription drug use in America is at an all time high, but states that have approved medical marijuana as an alternative to opioids have a 25% reduction in overdose deaths.
This is partially due to patients that are experiencing chronic pain can substitute or supplement marijuana for their pain pills and are able to take smaller (or no) doses of the pills and are less likely to experience an overdose. Since there has; as far as we know no known overdoes on marijuana it suggests the substitution is the most likely reason for the reduction in deaths.
As always though there are skeptics. Dr. Andrew Kolodny, chief medical officer at Phoenix House believes this has less to do with cannabis as a substitute for prescription pain pills and more to do with a proactive approach to treatment of addiction.
This theory though doesn’t hold much weight as opiate pain pills are the drug of choice for the 21st century and these painkillers are tearing apart the fabric of American society. More people are addicted to these pills than to cocaine, heroin and crystal meth combined, and they’re second only to traffic accidents as the leading cause of accidental death.
As more and more states warm up to the idea of marijuana as a medical (or recreational) drug with huge health benefits, the more it will enable the study of it’s medicinal qualities. If any case cannabis looks to be a better option than pain pills.