Researchers welcome temporary drop in opioid emergency visits associated with cannabis usePosted by On


“This isn’t trivial — a decline in opioid-related emergency department visits, even if only for six months, is a welcome public health development.”

A new study out of the University of Pittsburgh has found U.S. states with legal recreational cannabis witness a short-term decline in opioid-related emergency department (ED) visits.

Data from California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada indicated a 7.6 per cent reduction in opioid-related ED visits for six months after legalization of adult-use marijuana compared to non-legal states, the university reports in a statement.

And though the decline was not dramatic, investigators emphasize that any reduction in opioid use should be fostered.

“This isn’t trivial — a decline in opioid-related emergency department visits, even if only for six months, is a welcome public health development,” says Coleman Drake, Ph.D., the study’s lead author and an assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management.

Published this week in Health Economics, the finding follow investigators analyzing data on ED visits involving opioids in 29 states from 2011 to 2017. The aforementioned four states had legalized recreational cannabis and the others served as controls.

Even after the temporary reduction wears off, investigators found that legalizing adult-use weed is not then associated with more opioid-related ED visits. This indicates that recreational marijuana is not serving as a “gateway” to opioids, the…

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“This isn’t trivial — a decline in opioid-related emergency department visits, even if only for six months, is a welcome public health development.”

A new study out of the University of Pittsburgh has found U.S. states with legal recreational cannabis witness a short-term decline in opioid-related emergency department (ED) visits.

Data from California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada indicated a 7.6 per cent reduction in opioid-related ED visits for six months after legalization of adult-use marijuana compared to non-legal states, the university reports in a statement.

And though the decline was not dramatic, investigators emphasize that any reduction in opioid use should be fostered.

“This isn’t trivial — a decline in opioid-related emergency department visits, even if only for six months, is a welcome public health development,” says Coleman Drake, Ph.D., the study’s lead author and an assistant professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management.

Published this week in Health Economics, the finding follow investigators analyzing data on ED visits involving opioids in 29 states from 2011 to 2017. The aforementioned four states had legalized recreational cannabis and the others served as controls.

Even after the temporary reduction wears off, investigators found that legalizing adult-use weed is not then associated with more opioid-related ED visits. This indicates that recreational marijuana is not serving as a “gateway” to opioids, the…



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