Illinois patients using opioids to manage pain can now try medical cannabis instead

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WEEK) — Registration is now open for the Opioid Alternative Pilot Program.

The program was designed for people using opioids to manage their pain. The program was designed to provide another option for patients who want an alternative to the highly addictive medications.

Patients wanting to try medical cannabis can see their doctor to undergo a certification process beginning today. Patients can then create an account at a local medical cannabis dispensary, online, or at their local health department.

“Medical cannabis is proven to be a safe, effective alternative to treat conditions for which opioids are often prescribed,” state Sen. Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) said. “I am hopeful that this program will help stem the tide of the devastating opioid crisis in our state.”

A passport-like photo, a copy of a driver’s license or state ID, proof of an Illinois address, and a $10 payment are required. Once the information is submitted, patients will receive an electronic medical cannabis registry card, valid for 90 days. Physicians can submit for an additional 90-day renewal.

Patients will also have the option to switch to the Medical Cannabis Pilot Program, but cannot be enrolled in both programs at once.

More information on the program can be found at. www.dph.illinois.gov.

Tim Shelley

Tim Shelley

Social Media & Digital Content Manager
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