Welcome to our Addiction Medicine Site
Addiction-medicine.org is designed to equip healthcare providers with the knowledge and skills they need to effectively prevent, identify and treat substance use disorders (SUDs): connecting you with important updates, information on conferences and continuing medical education opportunities and access to other helpful resources. This site is not exclusively for addiction medicine specialists. ALL clinicians, regardless of specialty, are part of the battle against addiction and this site is a powerful tool in the fight.
ALL CLINICIANS HAVE AN IMPORTANT ROLE TO PLAY
Substance misuse and addiction is the nation’s largest preventable health problem. It devastates individuals and families, ravages communities and costs the US an estimated $600 billion every year in health and crime-related costs and lost productivity (Healthy People 2020, NIDA InfoFacts). Directly or indirectly, it impacts all of us in profound ways.
Despite the high cost in both lives and dollars, less than 10% of patients receive treatment. Why? Largely, stigma. Stigma on the part of society as a whole but also stigma within the medical profession. Individuals with moderate and severe substance use disorders (SUDs), addiction and complex co-morbidities may need the care of physicians and advanced practice providers (APPs) who specialize in addiction – clinicians with advanced training in science-driven treatment services. Many patients with less severe illness, however, can be identified and treated effectively by non-specialists in a variety of settings.
Whether through prevention (e.g. safer pain management/opioid prescribing practices), identification (e.g. integrating screening into workflow of clinic/ED), treatment (e.g. providing counseling or office based opioid treatment in a non-addiction setting), or even referral services, ALL providers have a part to play. Because of this, it is critical for all providers to confront their own biases and push back on the stigmas that often inhibit successful treatment.
And stigma is not the only barrier. Historically, SUDs have not been a significant part of a physician’s education. Some physicians feel they do not have the knowledge or skills to address these issues. They are afraid to screen because they do not know of resources in their communities and fear they will have nothing to offer their patients identified as needing help. But turning a blind eye is not an option. Addiction is destroying lives. Physicians and other healthcare providers cannot “opt out.” Fortunately, medical and APP schools are stepping up and providing more training and clinical exposure to addiction medicine. Accessible, quality continuing education for practicing clinicians is also critical if we are to build a workforce that can meet the needs of our patients.
Please consider us your partner in this. Attend our conferences, access online CME opportunities, or watch short videos that address specific problems (in less than 5 minutes!). Let us connect you with other addiction medicine providers and resources in your community. Become a member of the NC Chapter of ASAM. Join the addiction medicine movement in NC and be part of the solution!
Can’t make the conference? Learn about Addiction Medicine on your schedule
We are working to offer more online courses and other educational videos focused on a range of addiction medicine topics. This content is appropriate for ALL members of the healthcare team including physicians, advanced practice providers, nurses, social workers, SUD counselors, pharmacists and students.
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