A new research study claims patients are now seeking cannabis-based treatments and avoiding prescription medications more than ever. This may be for a number of reasons, including that some prescription drugs have severe side effects that can lead to cancer. Marijuana, on the other hand, is herbal and organic.
In the research conducted, prescriptions were filled for usage of medical marijuana to treat nausea, pain, anxiety, depression, psychosis, glaucoma, seizures, sleep disorders and spasticity. The research asked participants to substitute medical marijuana for their typical pharmaceutical drugs. The results of the study showed a decrease of 1,826 daily doses in prescription drugs for pain, and a decrease of 265 daily doses of depression medications.
The researchers also narrowed down the study to glaucoma patients and their use of medicinal marijuana. Dr. David, co-author of the University’s School of Public and International Affairs, states that “It turns out that glaucoma is one of the most Google-ed searches linked to marijuana, right after pain.”
Glaucoma tends to be extremely painful and can lead to blindness in some people who suffer. Patients who use marijuana, however, say they experience a significant decrease in eye pressure (a common sign of glaucoma); the same symptoms are not suppressed by prescription drugs. Although short-lived – the relief typically lasts about 60 minutes – patients with glaucoma reported they were happy with the results of using marijuana, as relief is almost unachievable with any other type of treatment.
“The results suggest people are really using marijuana as medicine and not just using it for recreational purposes,” the lead author for the research, Ashley Bradford, said.
Moreover, in 2014 alone, prescription pain relievers led to the deaths of over 28,000 people, more than any year on record. Three of the most common prescription drugs involved in opioid overdose deaths were methadone, oxycodone, and hydrocodone.
Keeping the results of the study in mind, the decrease in the use of prescription drugs offers more than just monetary benefit (as it saves up on Medicare expenses). Depending upon the type of drug used, an increase in the use of marijuana for medical purposes could help Americans fight their prescription pain addiction. Currently, up to 20 states, including Washington, D.C., have some form of legalized medical marijuana readily available to treat people suffering from chronic pain and illness, confirming that more people are starting to rely on using marijuana as opposed to prescription drugs.
By: New Jersey Alternative Medicine