New study links marijuana legalisation to reduced alcohol, nicotine, and opioid use


Young individuals who use marijuana are less likely to abuse alcohol, nicotine, and non-prescription opiates once it is legalised.

Following Washington’s legalisation of the more hazardous drugs, researchers at the University of Washington examined data on substance usage patterns from 2014 to 2019. They discovered that young adults aged 21 to 25 were less likely to use the more harmful substances.

According to the Journal of Adolescent Health, a new research published last week that looked at “six yearly waves of cross-sectional survey data” including 12,694 individuals was published last week.

As a result of legalising nonmedical cannabis, “alcohol and cigarette usage and pain reliever abuse decreased,” according to the abstract of the research.

Continued study is needed to determine the significance of cannabis-specific prevention and treatment initiatives, although the decreasing link between cannabis use and other drug use among those aged 21–25 is encouraging.

After 2016, rates of e-cigarette usage in that age range increased, according to the study.

Data from legalisation states disproves longtime notions that cannabis is some type of ‘gateway’ drug,” NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano wrote in an online blog post. Regulation of cannabis has been linked to lower usage of other drugs, such as prescription pharmaceuticals, in several cases.

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Another recent study found that marijuana legalisation is connected with a decrease in prescription medication use for diseases including anxiety, sleep, pain, and seizures.

Medical cannabis legalisation in the states has been linked to decreased prescriptions for pharmaceuticals, but this article focused on the possible impact of recreational legalisation in 10 states and the District of Columbia.

According to a research published last year, medicinal marijuana usage is connected with significant decreases in opioid and other prescription medication dependency and an enhancement in quality of life.

As an alternative to opioid medicines, a meta-study released in 2020 indicated that marijuana showed potential as a therapy option for chronic pain.

Cannabis was reported to lessen the symptoms of opiate withdrawal in a research published that year.

Earlier this year, researchers found that states with legal marijuana access saw a fall in the number of opioid prescriptions, while a second study found that chronic pain sufferers who smoke marijuana daily are less likely to be prescribed opioids.

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