Illinois Program Offers Medical Marijuana as Alternative to Opioids


Can marijuana be an effective treatment to keep people off opioids? A new Illinois program aims to prevent opioid addiction by allowing patients to take a prescription for painkillers and use it for cannabis instead. This comes as a new study from the National Safety Council shows that more people are likely to die from opioid overdose than from a car crash.

An edited transcript below is from our conversation with Dr. Elizabeth Salisbury-Afshar, a Chicago family physician and director of the Center for Multi-System Solutions to the Opioid Epidemic at the American Institute for Research. Salisbury-Afshar also provides addiction treatment to patients at Heartland Alliance Health, and previously was the point person for opioids at the Chicago Department of Public Health.

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