"Papers like these two suggest that cannabis may play a role".
"We had about a 14.5 percent reduction in opiate use when states turned on dispensaries, and about a 7 percent reduction in opiate use when states turned on home cultivation-based cannabis laws", said researcher David Bradford, chairman of public policy at the University of Georgia School of Public and International Affairs.
The two studies were published online April 2 in JAMA Internal Medicine. Even if patients chose to switch from opioids to medical marijuana, the number was not high enough to reflect lowered opioid use throughout the data.
But the Trump administration has taken an adversarial stance toward states that have legalized marijuana in some fashion.
In fact, the Council said only 13 states - Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Washington, D.C., Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island, Virginia, and West Virginia - have improved their approach to the drug epidemic in the a year ago. That's about 39 fewer prescriptions per 1,000 people using Medicaid.
At this point, 30 states and the District of Columbia have laws legalizing some form of marijuana use, including eight states that have legalized recreational use. Fourteen states plus the District of Columbia had such a law from the beginning of that time; nine other states joined them during the years the study covered.
When a doctor prescribes a patient 60 hydrocodone tablets per month, at the highest dose, and are giving these patients refills monthly, it is inevitable that the patient will acquire a dependency to the drug. In the most recent data available, more than 5,700 people died from overdoses in the state of Florida in 2016. So far, clinical studies suggest that marijuana is effective in easing chronic pain, neuropathic pain (pain caused by damage to the nervous system), and involuntary and continuous muscle contractions associated with multiple sclerosis, Hill told Live Science. They are highly addictive, and can lead to drug abuse, severe complications and overdose deaths. The findings in Medicaid and Medicare patients may not apply to other people.