New aid to help blunt painkiller addiction

Oct. 1, 2012 at 2:19 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 1 (UPI) -- A new online tool to help train U.S. healthcare providers on proper prescribing practices for painkillers is available, President Obama's drug czar said Monday.

The tool will also will provide healthcare providers training on proper patient management practices for opiates, the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the National Institute on Drug Abuse said Monday in a release.

The new training materials, which offer continuing medical education credits, are part of the institute's initiative created to help physicians, medical interns and residents, and other clinicians understand and address the problem of prescription drug abuse, the agencies said.

"It's no coincidence that our strategy to address our nation's prescription drug abuse epidemic begins with education," said Gil Kerlikowske, director of National Drug Control Policy. "All of us -- parents, patients and prescribers -- have a shared responsibility to learn more about this challenge and act to save lives."

Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, said the courses provide a practical guide for clinicians during screening and help medical professionals identify when patients are abusing their medications.

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