ACMT to Present Webinar on Treatment of Opioid Addiction

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The American College of Medical Toxicology will present a webinar on the treatment of opioid dependent patients. The webinar, which is available to health care providers, health administrators, and epidemiologists, will take place on October 15, 2012.

American College of Medical Toxicology

...opioid pain relievers were among the most common medications accounting for poisoning cases managed by medical toxicologists...

Epidemic increases in prescription drug abuse, primarily involving the abuse of opioid analgesics, have fueled dramatic increases in opioid addiction and dependence. Chronic pain has reached epidemic levels and the use of long-term, high-dose opioid therapy has increased concomitantly. Although it was previously believed that patients given short-term opioids for relief of acute pain, such as following surgery, were at very low risk of addiction, more recent data suggests that this is not correct. Several studies have documented that 3-7% of patients who received opioid analgesic prescriptions following minor operative procedures were still using these potent medications weeks or months later. In addition, a recent report of 2011 data from the American College of Medical Toxicology’s (ACMT) Toxicology Investigators Consortium (ToxIC) Registry, published in the Journal of Medical Toxicology, also found that opioid pain relievers were among the most common medications accounting for poisoning cases managed by medical toxicologists, and were the most common cause of death reported in the registry.

Local and state medical societies as well as state medical boards have called for increased education related to the prevention and treatment of addictive disorders, in particular from opioid analgesics. Education is one part of a four-pronged approach described in “Epidemic: Responding to America's Prescription Drug Abuse Crisis”, released in 2011 by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. As part of a continued effort to educate health care professionals about treatment options for opioid dependence, ACMT will host an educational webinar entitled “Medication Assisted Treatment for Opioid-Dependent Patients –Getting Started as a Provider.” This 75 minute interactive webinar will be presented by Dr. Norm Wetterau, President of the New York Society of Addiction Medicine and Dr. Timothy Wiegand, Director of Toxicology at the University of Rochester Medical Center and Medical Director of Huther-Doyle Chemical Dependency Program in Rochester, New York.

The webinar will describe how to establish a medication assisted treatment (MAT) program for opioid dependent patients as well as review the role of the opioid agonist buprenorphine (SuboxoneTM). Dr. Wetterau and Dr. Wiegand will describe the certification process for obtaining the special DEA X license, which is required for the prescription of buprenorphine for the treatment of opioid dependence, and review medication assisted treatment options including alternatives to opioid agonists. Monitoring and referral requirements as well as resources and support for office-based opioid treatment (OBOT) providers will also be covered and a description of different models including office-based and chemical dependency (or ‘detoxification’) programs for the outpatient treatment of opioid dependence will be provided.

The ACMT has no role in the certification of buprenorphine providers and no relationship, financial or otherwise, with the sponsor of the medication. The ACMT is a professional, nonprofit association of physicians with recognized expertise in medical toxicology. The College is dedicated to advancing the science and practice of medical toxicology.

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