Is MMJ The Answer To USA Painkiller Epidemic

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  Is MMJ The Answer To USA Painkiller Epidemic

Posted by CN Staff on August 25, 2014 at 14:16:56 PT
By Jason Millman  
Source: Washington Post 

USA -- A new study suggests that medical marijuana could provide some relief from the national epidemic of prescription painkiller overdoses, which kills more Americans each year than car crashes do.States with medical marijuana laws on the books saw 24.8 percent fewer deaths from painkiller overdoses compared to states that didn't have such laws, according to the study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. That meant 1,729 fewer deaths than expected in 2010 alone, and states saw their overdose rates generally improve each year after their medical marijuana laws were passed, researchers found.
Almost half of the states in the country now have laws allowing access to medical marijuana, with pain management as the primary reason for use. The study looked at the 10 states that implemented laws between 1999 and 2010 and the three states with earlier laws. Nine more states have passed laws since the end of the study period, according to the researchers.The study isn't exactly a slam dunk for medical marijuana advocates, though. The authors say they can't make a direct causal link between state medical marijuana laws and lower painkiller overdose rates. There are other limitations to the study — for instance, researchers couldn't adjust for factors like socioeconomic status, race and patient diagnoses.Further, medical marijuana laws differ across the states, and implementation is usually the result of a messy and highly political process, making it difficult to measure the over all effects of those laws, write University of Maine professor Marie Hayes and Mark Brown of the Eastern Maine Medical Center in commentary published with the study."Rigorous evaluation of medical cannabis policies, including provisions that vary among states, is required before their wide adoption can be recommended," wrote study author Marcus Bachhuber of the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center.The medical marijuana laws, researchers said, likely have the biggest effect on people with legitimate painkiller prescriptions, who account for about 60 percent of painkiller overdose deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That still leaves a large chunk of people who are getting prescription painkillers who shouldn’t.The findings, if they hold up, seem important as policymakers try to get a handle on the prescription painkiller crisis. Those drugs kill more than 16,000 Americans each year, with deaths more than tripling in the past 25 years as prescriptions have also surged. And now the issue has come to the court system, with Chicago and two California counties recently suing five manufacturers of prescription painkillers, claiming they concealed the addictive risks of drugs like OxyContin and Percocet. Importantly, marijuana comes without a fatal overdose risk.There's still a debate about the effectiveness of medical marijuana to relieve pain, though studies have shown it can help some patients. One study found that using medical marijuana allowed patients already taking opiates to reduce their painkiller dosage — a key finding, since higher painkiller dosages have been linked to increased risk of overdose deaths.But as the New York Times pointed out earlier this month, researchers still face significant hurdles in trying to understand the benefits of medical marijuana since it's categorized as a Schedule 1 drug, the most restrictive class. Notably, that's more restrictive than the classification for prescription painkillers.Jason Millman covers all things health policy, with a focus on Obamacare implementation. He previously covered health policy for Politico.Source: Washington Post (DC)Author: Jason MillmanPublished: August 25, 2014Copyright: 2014 Washington Post CompanyContact: letters Website: URL: Medical Marijuana Archives 

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Comment #13 posted by Hope on August 31, 2014 at 17:03:53 PT
I don't recall it. I'll have to search it up on you tube.Lol!Germs
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Comment #12 posted by keninsj on August 31, 2014 at 15:28:18 PT:
Your comment reminds me of Weird Al's Germs parody. 
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Comment #11 posted by Hope on August 28, 2014 at 10:11:48 PT
I have thought about that. And a better delivery system. I think a capsule of cooked, ground or powdered herb would be more to my liking than smoke for the most part. I say for the most part, because I do enjoy a smoke. "Pasteurization by radiation"? Argggh!!! Totally aaarrrgh Arrrgh. I fear more the people with the radiation machines to sell than I do the errant bug that I can't see. I hear they are in my eyelashes, too! 
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Comment #9 posted by afterburner on August 27, 2014 at 10:15:49 PT

Hope #7
If we can get such anecdotal help from black market cannabis of questionable purity, imagine what help we could get from legal cannabis, properly tested for purity. Ah, but first we must grab the reins, like Colorado has, not rely on the FDA's outdated notions of safety, like pasteurization by radiation, to cover up filthy handling practices.
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Comment #8 posted by swazi-x on August 26, 2014 at 17:23:46 PT

Allow Access
Even if cannabis doesn't replace narcotics completely, the fact that it can allow users to take less pain medication is reason enough to allow current opiate/pain med prescription holders to access cannabis on an emergency basis.How about letting them use their prescriptions for Oxy, Vicoden, Percocet, etc. as a de-facto cannabis recommendation in MMJ states? Something - anything to let those on narcotics be able to lessen the possibility of death by overdose. It's taken far too many good people already.
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on August 26, 2014 at 15:44:36 PT

It helps pain... all sorts of pain.
But most people, even regular healthy users never notice it. If they have pain, they take an aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, or whatever. I always believed the people that said it helped them with pain and sickness although I had little, if any awareness of it in my personal experience with cannabis.But several years ago I found myself in a bad situation. I was away from home. I was struck with a terribly painful tension thing that can happen in my neck, shoulders, and head because of a spur or pinched nerves... or both. It's horrible when it happens though and is just about intractable, but ibuprofen usually helps. It makes it bearable. I had no ibuprofen. I had nothing and no where or way to get any for hours. I usually have ibuprofen and acetaminophen with me at all times. I didn't that night, though.It was rough. Hot compresses. Massage. Hot Tea. I was crying and making noise... arrgh. I was offered some old, brown, crushed and desiccated looking cannabis. It eased my pain, seemingly, miraculously for about forty five minutes of rest before I had to consume some more. I had never experienced that aspect of cannabis. But it looked like a miracle at that time. That forty five minutes was a gift from the Creator of life and all things.Everyone knows about helping a problem or fighting an obsession or addiction by making a substitution. I've seen people fight off heroin addiction, successfully, by substituting the far less harmful and destructive cannabis.It's not always that we get to personally understand these phenomena, in this case, phenomena of newly discovered helps in medicines or herbs, that we hear about. I did. I was glad that I believed people that said it helped them though. I didn't have to be ashamed or embarrassed that I didn't believe the honest and earnest soul that says it helps them. 
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on August 25, 2014 at 20:47:32 PT

I agree. In a short term use of narcotics you won't become dependent but it is after a person really doesn't need them anymore and continues to take them that is becomes an addiction and withdrawal is a living hell. There is no such withdrawal from Cannabis.
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Comment #5 posted by MikeEEEEE on August 25, 2014 at 19:49:01 PT

The science tells us that there is really a low addiction rate, maybe 2% become addicted in a medical setting. Personally, I would not use narcotics if I had to, not because I'm afraid of becoming addicted to them, I just don't like the side effects. I can never understand how people become addicted to them to begin with, they only block pain signals from going to the brain, that's it.

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Comment #4 posted by FoM on August 25, 2014 at 17:53:52 PT

I know it can help a person off of narcotics. I personally will never take a narcotic pain medicine ever again (not since 1994) except for surgery or if I got a serious disease like cancer. Narcotics have their place but I have seen so much addiction even in my own family and Cannabis could help them if it was legal.
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Comment #3 posted by The GCW on August 25, 2014 at 15:22:10 PT

I call it a SLAM DUNK one way or another.
"The study isn't exactly a slam dunk for medical marijuana advocates, though."If it in itself is not a slam dunk, then consider all the other related positive outcomes and together We are observing an enormous SLAM DUNK.Citizens in states which still prohibit sick citizens from using cannabis are pathetically losing out. Government has taken away their ability to even strive for a slam dunk.It's disappointing when citizens may access deadly highly addictive Class A narcotics but are not allowed to use a pure relatively safe God-given plant with thousands of years of proven documented medical history that has never caused an overdose death.
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Comment #2 posted by MikeEEEEE on August 25, 2014 at 15:05:47 PT

A pain
FoM, it will help a lot of people who would otherwise suffer the side effects of narcotics.
But there are different types of pain, arthritis, osteopathic, neuropathic, cancer, etc.I think it will be great to have another option to fight pain. 
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on August 25, 2014 at 14:18:19 PT

My Opinion
There is no doubt in my mind that it can help people off of narcotic drugs.
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