Weekly News Roundup: February 22
Medical Marijuana and the Opioid Crisis
This week’s news roundup features the intersection of the opioid crisis and the medical marijuana debate. While some see medical marijuana as a partial solution to the opioid crisis, others wonder about the benefits of providing easy access to another drug now that we’ve seen the devastation from opioid addiction. Intermountain Healthcare, Utah’s largest healthcare system, announced that doctors will be able to recommend cannabis for patients with qualifying conditions. This, on the heels of the news that they successfully reduced opioid prescriptions for acute pain by roughly 30 percent in 2018. Lastly, we’re featuring a success story of how one healthcare system successfully used opioid prescribing guidelines to reduce the risk of abuse.
With Opioid Deaths up, Maryland Looks to Medical Marijuana as Possible Treatment
Using medical marijuana to help cure opioid addiction may seem counterintuitive. But a growing number of physicians and patient advocates say marijuana should be added to the list of traditional treatment options, pointing to studies that show it helps reduce opioid cravings and withdrawal symptoms. Read More
Legalize Pot? Amid Opioid Crisis, Some New Hampshire Leaders Say No Way
MANCHESTER, N.H. – The push to legalize recreational marijuana is sweeping the Northeast: Massachusetts, Vermont and Maine have done it, and the governors of Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey say they want their states to do it, too. But in New Hampshire, Gov. Read More
Opioid Prescribing Guidelines Reduce Risk of Abuse
“Our analytics showed we had substantial variation in the number of pills prescribed for like-type procedures. We’ve been able to use evidence-based medicine to improve our approach to pain management, reducing the total number of opioids prescribed, and the risk associated with those opioids.” Read More
Intermountain Healthcare Promised to Prescribe Fewer Opioid Tablets for Acute Pain in 2018. Here’s How it Did.
Intermountain Healthcare had a New Year’s resolution for 2018: By the end of the year, cut the number of opioid tablets it prescribed for acute pain by 40 percent. Ultimately, Intermountain Healthcare prescribed about 30 percent fewer opioid pills for acute pain last year – short of its goal, but part of an “aggressive journey” toward alleviating Utah’s drug addiction calamity, company officials announced Wednesday. Read More
Intermountain Healthcare Gives its Utah Doctors OK to Recommend Medical Marijuana
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News SALT LAKE CITY – Doctors in Utah’s largest health care system will be now able to recommend cannabis for patients who have conditions that qualify under the state’s new medical marijuana law. Read More