Massachusetts Medical Students Are Being Trained to Deal With Addicts and Addiction

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There are things we take for granted in life, and one of those most important things is that we rely on information that our doctors provide us. They have devoted an enormous amount of time to their studies and many sacrificed the young adult portions of their lives to learn a profession and the disciplines involved in that profession in order to help those of us who aren’t anywhere near as scientifically inclined. They often have bad news to deliver, but when we are at our most weak and helpless they can guide us through extremely difficult and previously unknown situations that we would otherwise be unable to navigate. While this is true for many situations, sadly when it comes to addiction our very learned doctors are still very much in the dark.

It’s mysterious that with all the knowledge handed down through generations of medical schooling that doctors, at least in this part of the world, aren’t being given adequate training in the field of addiction. There are policies and procedures that a doctor can follow to help someone they suspect is addicted to a particular substance, or substances, but when it comes to actual knowledge, statistics and of course the science behind addiction, there is a long way to go.

South of our border there seems to be the beginnings of a shift towards furthering the understanding of addiction by the medical community. At least in Massachusetts, it seems. They are now requiring their medical schools, including Harvard, to alter their curriculum to include training on addiction issues so that the aspiring class of 2016 will be well prepared for what has become somewhat of a raging storm as far as addiction to drugs and alcohol. Particularly the areas of heroin and prescription opiate medications which due to over-prescribing, doctor shopping and a number of other factors has become commonplace in many parts of the state as well as the continent.

It is reassuring, then, to think that a whole new generation of family doctors, psychiatrists and other medical specialists will be armed with the tools they need to truly benefit their patients who are struggling with both physical and psychological addiction issues. After all, most of us who have any sort of health concern actively seek the guidance, wisdom and knowledge of our doctor in order to better inform ourselves of the right way to approach whatever our problem may be. If doctors can now act as “gatekeepers” for whatever treatment options are best for us, then the investment in their training has indeed paid off.

 

VIA:BOSTONGLOBE

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Sobriety Foundation

Massachusetts Medical Students Are Being Trained to Deal With Addicts and Addiction

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