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Opioid-Related Deaths Fell 6.5% After Recreational Marijuana Legalized in Colorado, Research Finds

Autor:   •  July 18, 2019  •  Article Review  •  377 Words (2 Pages)  •  298 Views

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Treshana Davis


March 12, 2019

Module 3- Article Review

Name of Article

News Article:

Can expanding the state’s medical cannabis program help curb the opioid crisis?

Article Abstract:

Association Between US State Medical Cannabis Laws and Opioid Prescribing in the Medicare Part D Population

  1. Sources
  1. News Article:

  1. Journal Article Abstract:

  1. Type of research utilized- To examine the association between prescribing patterns for opioids in Medicare Part D and the implementation of state MCLs.
  2. Research Question Asked- What is the association between US state implementation of medical cannabis laws and opioid prescribing under Medicare Part D?
  3. Sample size and selection- Longitudinal analysis of the daily doses of opioids filled in Medicare Part D for all opioids as a group and for categories of opioids by state and state-level MCLs from 2010 through 2015. Separate models were estimated first for whether the state had implemented any MCL and second for whether a state had implemented either a dispensary-based or a home cultivation only–based MCL.
  4. Results- From 2010 to 2015 there were 23.08 million daily doses of any opioid dispensed per year in the average state under Medicare Part D. Multiple regression analysis results found that patients filled fewer daily doses of any opioid in states with an MCL. The associations between MCLs and any opioid prescribing were statistically significant when we took the type of MCL into account: states with active dispensaries saw 3.742 million fewer daily doses filled (95% CI, −6.289 to −1.194); states with home cultivation only MCLs saw 1.792 million fewer filled daily doses (95% CI, −3.532 to −0.052). Results varied by type of opioid, with statistically significant estimated negative associations observed for hydrocodone and morphine. Hydrocodone use decreased by 2.320 million daily doses (or 17.4%) filled with dispensary-based MCLs (95% CI, −3.782 to −0.859; P = .002) and decreased by 1.256 million daily doses (or 9.4%) filled with home-cultivation–only-based MCLs (95% CI, −2.319 to −0.193; P = .02). Morphine use decreased by 0.361 million daily doses (or 20.7%) filled with dispensary-based MCLs (95% CI, −0.718 to −0.005; P = .047).
  5. Reliability and Validity of Results- Medical cannabis laws are associated with significant reductions in opioid prescribing in the Medicare Part D population. This finding was particularly strong in states that permit dispensaries, and for reductions in hydrocodone and morphine prescriptions.


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