Emerging studies reveal that more accessibility to marijuana outlets is leading to a reduction in opioid-related mortality rates.
According to a paper published in the British Medical Association journal, a surge in medical as well as recreational marijuana dispensary counts are linked to minimizing deaths related to consuming opioids especially deaths involving synthetic opioids like fentanyl.
Studies conducted across several U.S states from 2014 to 2018 analyzing cannabis dispensary prevalence and opioid death rates shows that the counties where the number of legal marijuana shops generally increased from one to two saw a 17 percent drop in fatalities linked to using opioids (Jaeger). Additionally, a rise in the dispensary count to three was associated with another 8.5 percent drop in opioid mortality rates.
Cannabis is increasingly being used in pain management by consumers leading to a surge in the supply of legal cannabis and hence a decrease in the demand for fentanyl opioids as well as general opioid-related mortality rates.
Many studies also point out that marijuana is effective in treating conditions involving chronic pain for which opioids are often prescribed and surveys indicate that most patients consume cannabis as an alternative to addictive painkillers. Overall, cannabis is considered to be not addictive in most cases in comparison to opioids which are highly addictive (and extremely dangerous) according to the research.
Recent years have seen a surge in the fentanyl opioid market at an alarming rate and so is the mortality rate associated with consuming the substance. Such outcomes are leading to more pressing questions involving the availability of legal cannabis and opioid-associated deaths. Further studies reveal that the medical consumption of marijuana is linked to a significant drop in opioids dependence and addiction and improving the quality of one’s life