Combating the Opioid Epidemic
The opioid overdose crisis has become one of the most pressing public health challenges facing the country today, with more than 33,000 Americans losing their lives to opioid overdoses in 2015 alone. There is mounting evidence, however, that cannabis can help reduce opioid abuse and addiction when available as an alternative for treatment for chronic pain.
A 2014 study published in JAMA found that states with legal access to medical cannabis had nearly 25% fewer opioid-related overdose deaths than states without legal access. Further, these states continued to show a decline in opioid-related deaths, even as the national average states with legal access.
NCIA advocates for policies that expand safe and legal access to cannabis as part of any comprehensive solution to the opioid crisis.
Cannabis: A Promising Option for the Opioid Crisis