Opioid use qualifies patients for medical marijuana in New York

On June 18, the New York Department of Health announced opioid use now qualifies patients for medical marijuana to treat chronic pain, according to WIVB4.com.

“The opioid epidemic in New York State is an unprecedented crisis, and it is critical to ensure that providers have as many options as possible to treat patients in the most effective way," New York State Health Commissioner Howard Zucker, MD, told WIVB4.com. "As research indicates that marijuana can reduce the use of opioids, adding opioid use as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana has the potential to help save countless lives across the state."

Allowing medical marijuana for the treatment of opioid addiction is in response to a 180 percent increase in opioid-related deaths in New York from 2010 to 2016. In 2010, the state's Department of Health reported 1,000 people died from opioid overdoses, and in 2016 that number has increased to 3,000 people.

Republican state Sen. George Amedore, co-chair of the Senate Task Force on Heroin and Opioid Addiction, told WIVB4.com, "I have been strongly advocating to remove barriers and allow the use of medical marijuana as an alternative to opioids because it will help patients, reduce the number of highly addictive opioids in circulation, and ultimately, it will save lives."

More artilces on Opioids: 

Facebook redirects users looking to buy opioids to crisis help line
13K Ohio residents died from opioid overdose between 2010 and 2016
For babies born with opioid withdrawals, methadone proves more effective than morphine

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