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OBJECTIVE:

To figure out the association of healthcare marijuana legalization with prescription opioid utilization.

Strategies:

A 10% sample of a nationally representative database of commercially insured population was applied to collect details on opioid use, chronic opioid use, and higher-threat opioid use for the years 2006-2014. Adults with pharmacy and healthcare benefits for the whole calendar year have been incorporated in the population for that year. Multilevel logistic regression evaluation, controlling for patient, particular person-year, and state-level elements, have been applied to figure out the influence of healthcare marijuana legalization on the 3 opioid use measures. Sub-group evaluation among cancer-free of charge adults and cancer-free of charge adults with at least a single chronic non-cancer pain situation in the specific year have been carried out. Alternate regression models have been applied to test the robustness of our outcomes like a fixed effects model, an alternate definition for start off date for healthcare marijuana legalization, a particular person-level evaluation, and a falsification test.

Outcomes:

The final sample incorporated a total of four,840,562 persons translating into 15,705,562 particular person years. Healthcare marijuana legalization was discovered to be connected with a decrease odds of any opioid use: OR = 0.95 (.94-.96), chronic opioid use: OR = 0.93 (.91-.95), and higher-threat opioid use: OR = 0.96 (.94-.98). The findings have been equivalent in each the sub-group analyses and all the sensitivity analyses. The falsification tests showed no association between healthcare marijuana legalization and prescriptions for antihyperlipidemics (OR = 1.00 CI .99-1.01) or antihypertensives (OR = 1.00 CI .99-1.01).

CONCLUSIONS:

In states where marijuana is accessible through healthcare channels, a modestly decrease price of opioid and higher-threat opioid prescribing was observed. Policy makers could consider healthcare marijuana legalization as a tool that may well modestly minimize chronic and higher-threat opioid use. Nonetheless, additional study assessing threat versus rewards of healthcare marijuana legalization and head to head comparisons of marijuana versus opioids for discomfort management is expected.

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