Legalized Marijuana Could Help Curb the Opioid Epidemic, Study Finds

Legalized Marijuana Could Help Curb the Opioid Epidemic, Study Finds

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In states that legalized medical marijuana, U.S. hospitals failed to see a predicted influx of pot smokers, but in an unexpected twist, they treated far fewer opioid users, a new study shows.

Hospitalization rates for opioid painkiller dependence and abuse dropped on average 23 percent in states after marijuana was permitted for medicinal purposes, the analysis found. Hospitalization rates for opioid overdoses dropped 13 percent on average.

At the same time, fears that legalization of medical marijuana would lead to an uptick in cannabis-related hospitalizations proved unfounded, according to the report in Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

Legalized Marijuana Could Help Curb the Opioid Epidemic, Study Finds






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