Dozens gathered in Holyoke to address the role cannabis might play in impacting the opioid epidemic Tuesday.
The Cannabis Community Care and Research Network, also known as C3RN, held a panel discussion, discussing the data and research into the relationship between cannabis and opioids.
The 21st century’s opioid crisis is the deadliest drug epidemic in American history.
Five people die from an overdose every day in Massachusetts. Addictions often start with pain pill prescriptions.
The Cannabis Community Care and Research Network addressed ways cannabis could impact opioid addiction.
“People often prefer cannabis rather than prescription medications and there’s also evidence from a state and local levels in showing a decrease in opioid overdose deaths related to opioid prescriptions in states with legal medical and adult use cannabis,” said Dr. Marion McNabb, CEO of C3RN.
A study by Drug and Alcohol Dependence Journal found hospitalization rates for opioid abuse dropped by more than 20 percent in states where marijuana was legalized for medical use.
“If we can give a second line of defense after someone goes through surgery and prefer cannabis instead of more opiates well that can be a way to help,” said Randal MacCaffrie also of C3RN. “It’s not a drug, it’s a whole plant medicine that can help you.”
Tuesday’s meeting was the fourth of the organization’s six scheduled events regarding cannabis and opioids.
The Drug and Alcohol Dependence Journal also found links between cannabis use and a higher risk of motor vehicle accidents.