30 Apr WOULD LEGAL WEED REALLY OFFSET THE OPIOID EPIDEMIC?
Posted By Gruenberg Kelly Della || 30-Apr-2018
Legal Marijuana Use and Opioid Addiction
In the last decade or so, there has been much talk in the United States about legalizing (or at least decriminalizing) marijuana. With lawmakers and politicians speaking up about the current opioid epidemic, many pro-pot advocates are currently attempting to sway legislators toward marijuana legalization by claiming that access to marijuana would prevent opioid abuse and addiction.
However, some evidence would suggest the opposite:
- A Reuters article points out, “An estimated 60 percent of Americans now live in the 28 states and Washington, D.C. where medical marijuana is legal under state law. Meanwhile, the opioid epidemic – sparked by a quadrupling since 1999 in sales of prescription painkillers such as Oxycontin and Vicodin – kills 91 Americans a day.”
- A study by the National Academies found links between marijuana use and a heightened risk of vehicle accidents, suggesting the opioid-related death may be traded for another life-threatening risk if drug users turn from opioids to pot.
- A study by Yuyan Shi at the Department of Family Medicine and Public Health at the University of California in San Diego found that there is some correlation between reduced opioid-related death and access to non-deadly or addictive marijuana, but also claimed that “future investigation is needed to explore the causal pathways of these findings.”
In short, the nature of the relationship and seeming correlations between legal access to marijuana and lesser risk of abusing opioid pain medications is not yet clear. However, this will be an important point to note for all of our community members, especially those wrestling with opioid addiction (and their families).
Medical Malpractice Attorneys Serving Long Island for 50+ Years
In our many years of helping clients with medical malpractice claims, our team at Gruenberg Kelly Della has learned that things are not always what they seem. Drug-related choices and consequences are often viewed as the responsibility of the addicted person. However, our Long Island medical malpractice attorneys are aware that many doctors deliberately over-prescribe dangerous, habit-forming opioid pain medications in order to receive kick-backs from pharmaceutical companies.
This is unacceptable at best and sinister at worst. If this has happened to you or someone you love, our experienced legal team is here to serve you.
Call (888) 305-6372 today to speak to a member of our team, or contact us to schedule your free consultation.