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Cannabis Use Shown to Decrease Use of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Prescription Drugs

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A number of studies have provided insight into how the use of cannabis has led to a reduction in the use and abuse of opioids. But now, a team of researchers has generated data leading them to believe increasing cannabis use is also reducing the use of alcohol, tobacco, and prescription drugs.

A survey conducted of over 2,000 federally registered cannabis patients showed that respondents have substituted cannabis over other forms of harmful substances. Nearly 70% of respondents said they had replaced prescription opioids and anxiety medications with cannabis, while 45% said they use cannabis now instead of alcohol and tobacco.

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Of these respondents, 31% said they have replaced alcohol altogether, while 37% said they have limited their alcohol intake by at least 75%. More than half said they eventually quit tobacco altogether after using cannabis.

These studies are adding to the continually increasing amount of evidence that cannabis use is making a profound impact in the way people consume alcohol, tobacco, and prescription drugs, especially opioids. A recent study conducted by Canadian researchers showed that patients who regularly take anti-anxiety medication showed a significant drop in usage after starting to consume cannabis. Of the 146 subjects studies, 45% completed ceased use of anxiety medication altogether.

This new information is evidence that the previously popularized “gateway theory” is losing credibility. Increased cannabis use accomplished through legal avenues has only proven that it to be more of a drug that decreases users dependence on considerably more harmful substances like alcohol, tobacco, and prescription drugs. In 2017 alone, there more than 72,000 drug overdoses, many of them from prescription opioids.

As cannabis legalization continues to spread across the country, it may be prudent to keep an eye on how these health trends are affecting our overall society. Cannabis is still illegal at the federal level, though as data similar to those provided by these studies continue to surface, it may be a smoking gun in the effort to finally decriminalize cannabis once and for all.

Avid writer and reader with a curious mind. I'm always looking to get the most out of life! Follow me on Twitter @whatsaschoon

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