At any given time once the U . s . States is facing an opioid epidemic, medicinal marijuana has become legal in 25 states and also the District of Columbia. So, how are both of these trends related? The bond may surprise you.

New research from Columbia University’s Postman School of Public Health finds that less artists are using opioids in claims that have legalized medicinal marijuana.

“Theoretically, we’d expect the adverse effects of opioid use to lower with time in states where medicinal marijuana me is legal, as people substitute marijuana for opioids in treating severe or chronic discomfort,” June H. Kim, a doctorate student in the Postman School of Public Health, and also the study’s lead author, stated inside a pr release.

Scientists examined federal crash data in 18 states within the period from 1999 to 2013. The outcomes demonstrated that states with legal weed during this time period saw a general decrease in opioid participation in fatal vehicle accidents, especially among motorists ages 21 to 40.

For instance, Montana possessed a 1.7 % decrease in the amount of individuals who examined positive for opioids after its medicinal marijuana law entered effect, that was chosen into law in 2004. At some point, the condition, having a population of approximately a million, had almost 30,000 patients and 4,900 legal weed providers, based on NBC News.

Fatalities associated with opioids are rising drastically – in 2014, about 18,893 overdose deaths within the U.S. were associated with prescription painkillers, and 10,574 deaths were associated with heroin, the American Society of Addiction Medicine reported.

Research conducted recently also reported that prescription opioid overdose, abuse, and dependence within the U.S. has cost an believed $78.5 billion.