The Cannabis Treatment Conundrum Written by Mark Kraemer on 10/5/2016 3:54 AM in Workers Comp Insurance, industry news, workcomp injury management. It has 1 Comments. From the FDA to the federal government, it’s a well-known fact that America has a huge opioid problem. According to the CDC, drug overdoses now top motor vehicle crashes as the leading cause of accidental death in the US, the majority of which can be linked to common opioid prescription medications. Forty-six people die daily – over 17,000 a year - from overdoses, half of those linked to legitimate prescriptions. Overprescribed from routine pain to workmen’s comp cases, opioid replacements are in dire need. Could a Schedule I drug offer a more suitable treatment alternative? Surprising data The May issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs released remarkable findings concerning cannabis use and its relationship to addictive behaviors and opioid pain relievers. Data from 273 registered medical marijuana patients revealed no correlation between medical marijuana use and increased risks of abusing alcohol/drugs. University of Michigan professor and lead study author Brian Perron noted marijuana is “potentially a safer and more effective treatment than opioids.” Multiple studies Professor Perron’s data adds fuel to the legalization fire, following last year’s multi-dimensional JAMA Internal Medicine published study by University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine, researchers linked a significantly lower annual opioid overdose mortality rate in states with legalized cannabis use. Cannabis, when used in conjunction with opioids, showed a synergistic effect, decreasing pain an additional 27% on average, lowering pain killer dosages and subsequent overdose by 20% the first year, with a 33.7% decrease five years following legalization. Don’t let the latest workmen’s comp treatment methods take you by surprise. Stay in-the-know on opioid replacements and the latest industry news from Minnesota Comp Advisor today.