Boston University School of Medicine develops curriculum to combat opioid abuse

Hydrocodone, an opioid pain medication, is one of the most common recreational prescription drugs in America.
Hydrocodone, an opioid pain medication, is one of the most common recreational prescription drugs in America. –File photo

Boston University School of Medicine announced Monday that its curriculum on opioids has been expanded in response to Governor Charlie Baker’s efforts to combat opioid addiction.

The medical students are now being trained in addiction prevention, screening, and treatment.

“Our faculty are national leaders in addiction medicine,’’ Karen Antman, dean of the medical school, said in a statement. “We previously provided a curriculum that emphasized preventing and treating addiction, and now have integrated the 10 competencies over the four years of our curriculum. Opioid addiction and overdose is a public health crisis.’’

The medical school’s four-year curriculum will include the biology of addiction, treatment strategies for substance misuse, and simulations where students work with actors playing the role of a patient modeling substance use disorders to diagnose and develop treatment plans.

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Fourth-year students also will complete in the SCOPE of Pain program, a continuing medical education course developed by Boston University and winner of the 2014 National High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Award for Outstanding Prevention Effort.

Boston University School of Medicine worked with the other medical schools in Massachusetts this fall to develop 10 core competencies for prevention, assessment, and prevention of prescription misuse.

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