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Medical Marijuana Is Reducing Prescription Drug Use in New Mexico

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Researchers from the University of New Mexico, in collaboration with Industrial Rehabilitation Clinics of Albuquerque, have followed medical marijuana patients and concluded that there is a significant reduction in patients’ prescription medication use within just months after enrolling in the state’s medical marijuana program. Their findings will be published in the Journal of the American Medical Doctors Association.

Prescriptions for scheduled medications must be reported to the New Mexico Prescription Monitoring Program, according to Pharmaceutical Processing. The two most commonly reported are opiates and benzodiazepines. Medical marijuana patients in New Mexico have reduced their monthly use of these types of prescriptions.

The researchers also report that 71-percent of medical marijuana patients in the state have stopped or reduced use of scheduled medications within 6-months starting a medical marijuana regimen.

This is the first study to look at prescription use versus medical marijuana use in New Mexico. It examines individual patients from their time of enrollment against those that have not enrolled. The findings indicate that the likelihood of patients decreasing their dosage of scheduled medications is probable. Some of the medications seeing a reduction in use/prescription filling include opiates, sleeping medications and benzodiazepines.