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Legal Cannabis Might Help Stop Alcohol-Related Deaths

Reports show that binge drinking is down in states where weed is legal. People seem to be learning that marijuana makes it easier to curb alcohol consumption.

There is a terrible drug epidemic presently underway in the United States that no one is talking that much about. Yet, it is a brutal beast that continues to kill off more Americans than opioids, the nation’s supposed arch nemesis, with the death toll skyrocketing to tens of thousands over the years. No, this isn’t some bizarre new powdered dope devised in the jungles of Colombia. We’re talking about alcohol here.

A recent federal study shows that alcohol-related deaths have more than doubled over the past decade. There are now somewhere around 73,000 people dropping dead each year in the U.S. because of booze. It’s a dire situation, too, one that continues to prove detrimental to the health of people from all walks of life. It’s just difficult for some to imagine that such a socially acceptable staple in our culture can be so dangerous.

As with anything, the only way a person can ensure they will not end up a casualty of the drink is to either quit or cut down immensely. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, safe alcohol consumption really only equates to two drinks per day for men and one for women. There have even been studies to emerge over the years, showing that no amount of alcohol is safe. So, it is plain to see just how easy it is for the average American to find themselves at the mercy of alcohol-related maladies, such as cirrhosis of the liver, a variety of cancers, stroke and heart disease. Oh yeah, and folks don’t need to be alcoholics to succumb to these conditions.

RELATED: Binge Drinking Plummeting In States With Legal Marijuana

This is terrible news for those people who cannot face the world sober at all times. Few can. Considering the busy, stressful schedules of most people, trying to juggle careers, children, family and all, it is almost lunacy to suggest that anyone could end the day without a few drinks. But no one wants to end up on a slab down at the local morgue just because they were trying to relax at night with a cocktail. 

boozy parents
Photo by Jetta Productions/Getty Images

And even if a person’s drinking habit doesn’t lead to the worst of the worst, alcohol is still linked to higher rates of obesity.  

Considering the wellness trends of the times — adults are trying to get into shape and stay out of the hospital — a lot of people are simply looking for ways to curb their alcohol consumption without sacrificing the feel-good effects that they have come to enjoy. Some of them are learning that marijuana is a good alternative. Reports show that binge drinking is down in states where weed is legal. People seem to be learning that marijuana makes it easier to curb alcohol consumption.

RELATED: Study: Alcohol More Harmful To The Brain Than Marijuana

There is some science to back up this switcheroo.

In 2009, a study published in Harm Reduction Journal found that medical marijuana patients in California were using less alcohol once they had access to legal weed. More than 50 percent of the hundreds of people surveyed said that cannabis had become a replacement for booze. Interestingly, even if a drinker doesn’t cut the booze out altogether, cannabis is still a viable option for cutting back to safer consumption levels.

RELATED: What You Should Know About Treating Alcoholism With Cannabis

Since marijuana is known for strengthening the effects of alcohol, people who use cannabis before they drink often do not use it as much. And, while there is still much to learn about the overall safety of cannabis, a study published in Scientific Reports indicates that marijuana is around 114 times safer than alcohol. As far as the available science goes, cannabis consumption does not lead to any of the ailments directly associated with booze. Therefore, the battle of the bottle may be a bit easier to fight with a little weed on your side.

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