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Addiction Research -Training Doctors on Addiction

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The Department of Family Medicine is using a $964,000 grant to help form a national council that will put together and develop a curriculum and standards of excellence for post graduate education. Richard D. Blondell, director of addictions research for the Department of Family Medicine states, “With this grant we are addressing the significant need to develop innovative ways to train both primary care doctors and addiction specialists.” Doctors throughout the country do not have sufficient training in recognizing addiction and ultimately prescribe painkillers like Oxycontin, Vicodin and Percocet to individuals who do not medically need them but instead are seeking to support an opiate addiction. The amount of prescription drugs that have been prescribed over the past five years has grown at an exponential rate. More Americans die annually from prescription painkiller overdoses than any other drug. This grant will help to get a handle on the growing problem as doctors will be able to better recognize who needs prescriptions for medical reasons and who is trying to support their drug addiction. Medical professionals and prescribers are the first defense against prescription drug abuse. Addiction research and training is needed to be able assess the risk of abuse in an individual so that they are able to make a proper and safe diagnosis.

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