“Several states have seen precipitous decreases in the amount of opioids dispensed per claim. Kentucky, New York, Maryland and Michigan all saw reductions in excess of 35%.
In every one of the states Workers Compensation Research Institute studied, at least 30% of patients with opioid scripts also had a script for a central nervous system depressant.
That’s just remarkable; the risk of adverse consequences goes up dramatically when patients take both drugs.
The good news is the percentage of workers who were prescribed this combination declined in most states, but the average decrease was a few percent. While there can and may well be good reasons for docs to prescribe these drugs for individual patients, the research indicates there are significant risks.
Some have said medical marijuana should be considered an alternative to opioids. If that’s a valid claim, that’s wonderful news indeed — and not just for growers, marketers, and pizza purveyors.
Dr. Dean Hashimoto reviewed the [moderately positive] National Academies of Science’ report on all literature and evidence concerning the medical use of marijuana.
There’s more good news.
Two solid studies documented significant decreases in opioid overdose mortality rates and opioid addiction in states that allowed medical marijuana.
What does this mean for comp?
Well, 22 million Americans used cannabis in the last month. So it’s real, and it’s common. There’s no legal way to use the banking system to pay for medical marijuana, and there’s no guidance on dosage or other prescribing standards.
And there’s conflict between state regulations, case law and federal law.
We live in interesting times indeed.”
#MMJ #Opiooid #UTleg #Utpol #GetSerious #TRUCE
See full article – WorkCompCentral Workers’ Compensation News and Education