Illinois Patients Can Ditch Opioids For Medical Marijuana

natures medicine eraoflightdotcomA pilot program that allows pain patients to use medical marijuana as an alternative to opioid painkillers is underway in Illinois with lawmakers hoping it will help reduce the number of fatal overdoses in the state.

The Illinois Department of Public Health said the Opioid Alternative Pilot Program allows access to medical cannabis for people who have or could receive a prescription for opioids from a certified by a physician licensed in Illinois.

“Along with the physician certification, a passport-like photo, copy of driver’s license/state ID, proof of Illinois address, and $10 payment is required,” IDPH spokeswoman Melaney Arnold said. “The OAPP offers individuals who have been or could be prescribed an opioid, another option for managing their pain.”

Chris Stone owns and operates the medical cannabis dispensary HCI Alternatives, which has operations in Springfield and Collinsville. While he expects to see more patients because of the new law, he also hopes to see a decrease in the number of overdose deaths from opioid abuse.

“Hopefully as they take statistics on this and they see this program over the first twelve months, be able to do the data mining and the research and the surveying to hopefully see those deaths go down and the additional cases go down,” Stone said.

In 2016, more than 1,900 people in Illinois died from opioid overdoses, an 82 percent increase from 2013.

Stone said the program will help one woman he knows who has had to use opioids to manage back pain.

“What’s she doing is saying ‘OK, if I can get off these opioids now and try cannabis, let’s see how that works in dealing with pain,’ ” Stone said.

Illinois is leading the way by allowing marijuana as an alternative to opioids, Stone said.

“Within the next five years it wouldn’t surprise me if all the states have some type of opioid substitute program,” Stone said.

Illinois’ program, which passed last year and was signed by Gov. Bruce Rauner, gives qualifying patients the ability to get cannabis instead of opioids for up to 90 days. Depending on the condition, recertification for an additional 90 days is available.

 

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One Reply to “Illinois Patients Can Ditch Opioids For Medical Marijuana”

  1. ᎢᎠᎺBᎡᎠr ᏍᏔrCᎯld

    Silly. Under the True and Original Constitution, there is no crime is someone has not caused harm to another or their Property. Once the Republic is restored, everything should return to that. This entire testing programs to find out whether Cannabis is safe or not, when the Founders grew it, and Pharmacies used to sell it, before big pharma outlawed it so that they could make money off of treating people to death, is absurd, and quite frankly is an embarrassment to be Human. I will put anything into my own body I damn well fell like, as anyone else should as well, otherwise one is giving their own power away to a bunch of sheep that need a majority rule to govern them, when the Founders hated Democracy, whereby the People have to beg each other to grant them freedoms they desire.

    I hear suicide is illegal as well, but that wont stop someone from doing it that cant stand being among the stupid sheep any longer, that ba ba ba all the way to their council members bleating and pleading for them to grant them the freedom to do what they want to do, as long as doing such brings no harm to another.

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