Medical professionals explore ways to overcome the state’s opioid crisis

An estimated 4 Massachusetts residents die each day from a drug overdose

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BOSTON (WWLP) – A special commission of 15 medical professionals met in Boston for the first time Tuesday with the goal of educating the next generation of prescribers on how to safely treat pain. This, as the state continues to deal with the heroin and prescription drug crisis.

“It’s really important as we train the next generation of prescribers, that they understand how to balance the need for pain management with the potential of opiate misuse,” said Cmr. Monica Bharel, M.D., of the Department of Public Health.

The working group is trying to develop a core curriculum for medical students. They want to train students to treat pain without relying first on powerful prescription painkillers.

The panel is also thinking about whether veterinarians should be required to receive drug addiction training because some of the medications they handle can be consumed, and possibly abused by humans.

Dr. Myechia Minter-Jordan, President of the Dimock Center, told 22News, “I think anyone who touches narcotics or prescribes narcotics should be included. It’s not the work of this commission at this point, but I’m sure it’ll come up in further discussions.”

The state is taking steps to prevent people from developing a drug addiction, and helping those struggling to get clean. The state Department of Public Health has strengthened the prescription monitoring program and added hundreds of treatment beds across the Commonwealth.

These medical professionals have until December 1st to hand-in their final recommendations to lawmakers.

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