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Recreational Marijuana Users More Likely To Misuse Prescription Drugs, According to National Study by Quest Diagnostics
Date:4/8/2013

her patient populations.
  • Recreational marijuana users were only slightly more likely than non-users not to use their prescription drugs. A patient may not take a prescribed drug due to financial constraints and diversion, including illegal drug sales.
  • "Our data raises the possibility that people who use marijuana recreationally are more likely to misuse their prescribed medications and other drugs. This is disturbing in light of the prevalence of marijuana use and the epidemic of drug addiction and death due to prescription medication abuse in the United States," said F. Leland McClure , Ph.D., director, pain management, mass spectrometry operations, Quest Diagnostics.

    "We also found that patients taking prescription cannabinoids did not combine other drugs at a significantly higher rate than other patients," said Dr. McClure. "While additional research is needed to confirm the findings, patients using prescribed cannabinoids may do so largely for legitimate medical reasons and not to engage in the type of abusive drug behavior for which this patient population is sometimes accused."

    The drug marijuana is derived from the leaves, stems and other parts of the hemp plant Cannabis sativa, contains delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, a psychoactive chemical which affects areas of the brain associated with pleasure, memory, thinking and coordinated movement. Although Federal law prohibits marijuana possession, distribution or use, 18 states and the District of Columbia now permit marijuana use for medicinal purposes and Colorado and Washington permit recreational use of marijuana among adults.

    Quest Diagnostics is a leader in prescription and workplace drug monitoring by diagnostic testing. The company's Drug Testing Index™ is widely considered a benchmar
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    SOURCE Quest Diagnostics
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