May 4, 2011

Should Doctors be Taught About Addiction?

Q: Should Doctors have training in addiction medicine?


check out this article from the Florida Post about whether doctors need more training in addiction, especially if they are prescribing highly addictive substances. It's even cooler because it talks about how cool it is that UVM students are rotating through a Drug and Alcohol Addiction Rehabilitation Center as part of their psychiatry rotation in their third year clerkship - and I was one of the first two people to actually do that! Sue Constantine, NP from the Hanley Center, featured in the article (and photo) was an incredible clinician and teacher (that's my friend, Naiara, with her in the photo). I find myself using knowledge about addiction medicine - including motivational interviewing, which can be applied to just about anything - every day in my family medicine rotation.

I would need to know more about how the training will happen and who will have to do the training, but learning about addiction should be a requirement for any clinician, especially those who can prescribe these medications. My experiences in addiction medicine definitely make me think carefully about when and how to treat anyone with potentially addictive substances - because addiction can be so much more destructive than whatever you're treating someone for initially.

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