UC Davis opioid abuse resources

UC Davis School of Medicine has joined with more than 60 other medical schools in a pledge to require their students to enroll in prescriber education, in line with newly released U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines for prescribing opioids for chronic pain, to address the prescription opioid abuse and heroin epidemic.

The University of California, Davis will soon launch a new research initiative dedicated to tackling pain. The program will be led by Scott Fishman, professor of anesthesiology and chief of the UC Davis Division of Pain Medicine, and Heather M. Young, associate vice chancellor for nursing and founding dean of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis. Young and Fishman helped establish UC Davis’ Interprofessional Pain Management Competency Program in 2011.

The Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis has joined with the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN) in new efforts to address the prescription drug abuse and heroin epidemic in the United States. In the next 24 months, AACN pledges to educate 15,000 nursing students and faculty on opioid prescriber practices and medication-assisted treatments though webinars and conference presentations and reach 60,000 students, faculty, and stakeholders with information about the provider awareness campaign through communications channels and social media.

Educating future prescribers

How future providers are educated to address pain has been a key focus for Fishman and Young, who together have established a program to re-define the fundamental building blocks of education. The collaboration identifies core competencies in pain management for students in medicine, nursing, pharmacy and all other health science professions. They have initiated a new, national conversation on the missing elements in health education as a key solution for serious public health problems related to pain. They are actively engaging the organizations entrusted to certify health care providers and their professional schools.

Contact information

For more information about UC Davis Health System opioid abuse resources contact Phyllis Brown at 916-734-9023 or by email at pkbrown@ucdavis.edu

Scott Fishman is an expert on all aspects of pain control, including prevention of prescription medication abuse. For more than a decade, he has led efforts to raise awareness among practicing physicians, state and federal legislatures, and the general public that relief from pain needs to be balanced with effective risk management strategies to prevent prescription drug abuse. His publications were among the first to raise important concerns about opioid therapy and develop strategies to help ensure access to pain relief while reducing the risk of prescription drug abuse. The War on Pain, Listening to Pain and Responsible Opioid Prescribing, as well as numerous articles in medical journals, book chapters and other scholarly reviews, Fishman is expert on all aspects of pain control, including prevention of prescription medication abuse.

Stephen Henry, assistant professor of general medicine, researches chronic pain management in the primary care setting, with an emphasis on identifying physician communication methods that can lead to improved pain management and help identify patients most at risk for opioid misuse and abuse. Henry’s goal is to help primary care physicians, who write the vast majority of pain medicine prescriptions, identify patients whose opioid use needs to be monitored more closely than others and reduce the number of patients harmed by these medications.

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