August 21, 2015 – Doc Involvement
Anchor lead: Physicians are addressing the opioid drug crisis on a number of fronts, Elizabeth Tracey reports
Teams of physicians are joining up to create solutions to the prescription opioid medication crisis, the American Medical Association has announced. Eric Strain, an expert in drug addictions at Johns Hopkins, says this is a positive development.
Strain: I think this is really good, because I think opiate dependence is a medical condition and I think that physicians can play a key role in it. Physicians have taken a greater and greater role in it with the approval of buprenorphine and the further medicalization of addictive disorders, so I welcome this. There’s a few different ways primary care doctors can impact this. One is they can be screening patients for problematic opiate use and they can either feel comfortable themselves in treating that or they can screen and then refer the person on to treatment. :30
Strain says primary care docs can also become more conscious of their own prescribing patterns of opioids and consider alternative or complementary therapies for pain. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.