Opioid-related deaths in Colorado falls by 6% post pot legalization

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on October 18, 2017.

In a major development that could change the perception of the legislators in the United States, a new study claims there is a direct link of decrease in opioid-related deaths and legalization of marijuana. A research published in the American Journal of Public Health states that the Opioid-related deaths in Colorado have reduced by over six per cent after the legalization of recreational pot in 2014.

“After Colorado’s legalization of recreational cannabis sale 0and use, opioid-related deaths decreased more than 6 per cent in the following two years. This reduction represents a reversal of the upward trend in opioid-related deaths in Colorado,” authors of the Journal Melvin D. Livingston, Tracey E. Barnett, Chris Delcher and Alexander C. Wagenaar said.

The study was conducted looking at the “trends in monthly opiate overdose fatalities in Colorado before and after the state's recreational marijuana market opened in 2014.”

The specifics were drawn following a comparison between Colorado and Nevada. Nevada had allowed the use of medical pot during the same period.Colorado’s prescription-drug-monitoring program, was also taken into consideration during the research. The study found out a 6.5 per cent decrease in opioid-related deaths post legalization.

Though there has been a growing discussion on marijuana’s effect as a safe alternative to pain killers, this study is one of the first to document result with recreational marijuana. 

Though the authors have agreed that their study is only preliminary, they hope other States will soon follow suit. Their research paper will be available in the November issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

Opioid deaths are increasing in the United States and President Donald Trump had also formed a commission to learn about the problem and find solutions.

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