July 13, 2018 | OPIOIDS
By, Lauraine Kanders, ANP, ACNP-BC
In a bid to curb the rising opioid epidemic across the state, the Department of Health in New York has announced a comprehensive regulatory amendment to add opioid abuse as a condition that qualifies for medical marijuana prescription.
New York State’s Department of Health made the announcement at a recent media release on Monday. Dr. Howard Zucker, who is the State’s Health Commissioner, said the amendment is in the works to help Medical Marijuana providers assist as many people as possible. By qualifying opioid use for Medical Marijuana, New York’s Department of Health envisions to decrease the number of deaths caused by drug abuse across the state.
Although no concrete guidelines have been laid out for medical marijuana practitioners to follow yet, current reports suggest that practitioners would need a proof of condition from the patient’s doctor and a proof of state residency to initiate the treatment. Once all requisite certificates have been completed and the paperwork filed, the case would be sent over to the nearest dispensary.
As of yet, patients suffering from 12 medical conditions, as well as their associated conditions, can apply for Medical Marijuana use in New York. These 12 conditions include:
2. HIV Infection or AIDS
3. ALS or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
4. Parkinson’s Disease
5. Spinal Cord Injury with Spasticity
6. Multiple Sclerosis
8. Inflammatory Bowel Disease
9. Huntington’s Disease
10. Chronic Pain
11. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Studies conducted in this regard have found a massive decrease in the number of deaths related to opioid use with the availability of Medical Marijuana. States that have already implemented the availability of Medical Marijuana for patients using opioid have reported a massive 25 percent decrease in opioid overdose.
By adding prescribed opioid use as a condition that qualifies for Medical Marijuana, the Department of Health has ensured that people who seek out opioids can now use Medical Marijuana as an alternative for pain relief.
The owner of Medical Marijuana Recs, NY, nurse practitioner, Lauraine Kanders was pleased to see that patients now had more choices for pain relief. She mentioned, “I definitely see a lot of happy campers. They are happy they get the chance to try something else because they have genuine concerns and don’t want to be on opiates.”
About opioid addiction, Ms. Kanders mentioned, “I’d say 95 percent of the patients that call me want nothing to do with opioids because they want something natural.”
The Department of Health in New York State can be accredited for the recent development in the State’s Medical Marijuana Program. Recent advancements to improve the program for patients, adding PTSD and chronic pain as qualifying conditions and permitting home delivery have shown the interest that the department has towards developing the program further and increasing the medical use of Marijuana in the State.