Researchers are working to fortify condiments and seasonings for use in countries with widespread micronutrient deficiencies. A new study suggests that medical marijuana could provide some relief from the national epidemic of prescription painkiller overdoses, which kills more Americans each year than car crashes do. States with medical marijuana laws on the books saw 25 percent fewer deaths from painkiller overdoses compared to states that didn't have such laws, according to the study published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
On average, states allowing the medical use of marijuana have lower rates of deaths resulting from opioid analgesic overdoses than states without such laws. Opioid analgesics, such as OxyContin, Percocet and Vicodin, are prescribed for moderate to severe pain, and work by suppressing a person's perception of pain.
A new multi-institutional study, published in JAMA Internal Medicine and led by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, examined the rate of deaths caused by opioid overdoses between 1999 and 2010.
Results reveal that on average, the 13 states allowing the use of medical marijuana had a 24.8 percent lower annual opioid overdose mortality rate after the laws were enacted than states without the laws, indicating that the alternative treatment may be safer for patients suffering from chronic pain related to cancer and other conditions.
Approximately 60 percent of all deaths resulting from opioid …
However, the study has attracted a number of critics who point out that medical cannabis isn't commonly prescribed for chronic pain, and that the results may be due to states cracking down on doctors over-prescribing opiate medications to patients.
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