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NY Nurse Helps Patients Replace Pharmaceuticals for Medical Marijuana


After Teisha Winters’ worker’s compensation ended her doctors wanted her off all of her medications. She was taking hydrocodone (Vicodin) and fentanyl, among other medications, for back issues, neuropathy and diabetes. She was concerned about taking medications with such high potential for abuse just to curb her pain.

She needed an alternative and found Nurse Practitioner Brenda Carney, WKTV 2 News reports. Carney works with Winters and other patients to help get them off of those harsh pharmaceuticals with high potential for abuse. As New York expanded its qualifying conditions, CNY Family Nurse Practitioner saw the opportunity to help others to have another option for treating health conditions treated with opioids.

Carney said, “We went into a practice that had a very high opiate-prescription level. And when New York State went ahead and said it was okay to have medical marijuana for different conditions, we thought this might be a really good option for a lot of individuals.”

Winters said, “Workmen’s compensation decided they didn’t want me on anything. Their doctors wanted me off all of my medication. I had to have some sort of alternative. I have never smoked marijuana, but I said, ‘If it works, that’s great.’”

Several different types of doctors refer patients to Carney.

She said, “Diabetics with neuropathy, it’s helping people with irritable bowel syndrome, the chronic pain, obviously seizures, movement disorders, Parkinsons-type disorders.”

Patients are reducing their doses and getting off of the pills one medication at a time.

Winters said, “I’m down to taking only the muscle relaxer when I need it, and the hydrocodone. I am off the fentanyl.”

Winters spends between $70 and $200 per month on medical marijuana to treat her pain. Carney says that she has patients that have stopped taking pain medications, neuropathy medications and anxiety medications while reducing the overall number of medications taken.