Just when we thought nobody injected smack anymore, heroin use has become a resurgent trend throughout the nation, according to The Week.
The rise in heroin addiction is likely due to the increase in opiate prescription pills. The problem has escalated to the point that Massachusetts declared a public health emergency last year over heroin overdoses and painkiller addiction. Heroin overdoses increased by 80 percent between 2010 and 2012 in Boston, and four out of five users were addicted to pain pills before using heroin.
The problem that painkillers and heroin presents could be solved by medical marijuana. According to a recent study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, states with medical marijuana laws were found to have a substantial decrease in overdose death rates from heroin and prescription pills. Researchers concluded that medical marijuana should be part of policy to prevent opioid overdose.
Medical cannabis contains natural anti-inflammatory qualities that can easily be used as a safer alternative to addictive pain pills, which is why studies show that it could be used as a form of harm reduction.
This is all tentatively good news for Massachusetts, which will allow residents access to medical marijuana later this year.