San Antonio, TX: Medical cannabis retail access is inversely associated with drug overdose mortality rates, according to the findings of a literature review published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.
Investigators affiliated with the University of Texas and Arizona State University reviewed data from over 50 studies highlighting county-level predictors of overdose mortality.
“[M]easures related to cannabis dispensaries, substance use treatment, social capital, and proportions of family households, were generally consistently associated with lower drug overdose mortality outcomes across multiple studies,” authors concluded. “Findings support the need for additional research to elucidate the pathways by which the county context shapes residents’ risk of fatal overdose, in order to translate data into contextual interventions to reverse the rising rates of overdose deaths across the US.”
Numerous studies have documented lower rates of opioid use over time among populations who either have legal access to retail cannabis products or who possess recommendations for medical cannabis.
Full text of the study, “County-level predictors of US drug overdose mortality: A systematic review,” appears in Drug and Alcohol Dependence. Additional information is available from NORML’s fact sheet, ‘Relationship Between Marijuana and Opioids.’