HCI Alternatives Launch Awareness to Help Prevent Opiate Overdose

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Springfield - After a serious injury, often times, patients are prescribed powerful pain medicines to help.

But for some, there is no escape from the pain of an injury of years of service in the military, from the pain of muscular sclerosis, or the aftermath of a terrible car crash.

For these people, prescription medicine only offered temporary relief, and often times, lead to addiction.

"I'm almost 60 years old, and diagnosed when I was 17.  So for this many years, they had me on opiates and destroyed my bowel and a lot of other things happened," said Kyla, a 60 year-old MS patient from Springfield.

Jon Gilson, of Rochester, was paralyzed after a car crash, added, "when I was taking them, I really didn't have a whole lot of energy."

"I really wasn't getting any benefit from it anymore after I had been on them so long," said Jeff, a fellow patient at Springfield's HCI Alternatives.

For these three people, medical marijuana has become the medicine of choice to help with the pain, and make it through the day, with the injuries and diseases that are a part of their lives.

HCI Alternatives is a medical marijuana dispensary in Springfield, and on Monday, they began an awareness campaign to help prescription opiate users, and educate Illinois doctors about the benefits of medical marijuana.

"The state of Illinois introduced this program to be able to work on providing patients, like these, with the ability to have an alternate source of pain medication as well as pain management.  We want to provide that as an alternative as well as to provide the education to not only patients, but as well as doctors through our campaign that we started today," added Chris Stone, HCI Alternatives CEO.

For these patients, after using medical marijuana, there's no going back to opiates.

"The opiates, the Vicodin, and the Oxycodone, and the morphine, I won't take that anymore.  So I'll just be screaming and getting on everybody's nerves if I didn't have that," added Kyla.

Some of the conditions that are able to be treated with medical marijuana include cancer, HIV and AIDS, Hepatitis C, Chrohns disease, Alzheimer's, Lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, torette syndrome, as well as others.

PTSD, seizures, and terminally ill patients were recently added to that list.

For a complete list of conditions covered, click here.

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