More than half of internal medicine residents at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston say they were not adequately trained in addiction and other substance use disorders, according to a new survey.
A new campaign launched by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages smokers to talk with their physician about quitting. The “Talk With Your Doctor” campaign also provides materials for physicians to help their patients give up cigarettes.
Some Minnesota physicians say they are sometimes unfairly blamed for patients’ prescription drug abuse, the Associated Press reports. At a Minnesota Medical Association forum, doctors said they feel caught between trying to help patients in pain and attempting to curb abuse.
Patient safety experts are urging hospitals to require physicians to have random drug and alcohol tests. The tests should also be conducted if a patient dies suddenly or is injured unexpectedly during surgery, they write in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The Medical Board of California has voted to support measures designed to fight prescription drug abuse, the Los Angeles Times reports. The board refused to transfer its investigators looking into physician misconduct in prescription drug abuse cases to the state Attorney General’s office.
Massachusetts officials are struggling to figure out how the state’s new medical marijuana law will impact health care professionals. Because marijuana is still illegal under federal law, health workers who use medical marijuana may endanger their licenses, according to WBUR.
Many doctors don’t ask their teenage patients about their drinking, a new study finds. A survey of 10th graders found that while more than 80 percent had seen a doctor in the past year, only 54 percent of them were asked about drinking, and 40 percent were advised about the dangers of alcohol.
Doctors miss drinking problems in almost three-fourths of patients because they don’t conduct alcohol screening, a new study finds. Instead, many doctors rely on gut feelings about whether a patient is engaging in problem drinking.
New government guidelines recommend primary care doctors counsel children and teens not to start smoking. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force concluded that prevention is more effective than trying to get youth to stop smoking once they’ve started.
State prescription drug monitoring programs should use advances in health information technology to make the systems easier to use, according to a new government report. The programs should incorporate prescription drug monitoring data into the workflow of doctors and pharmacists, recommends the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.
Doctors’ concerns about receiving negative reviews on consumer ratings websites may influence their decision to write opioid prescriptions for patients who request them, according to an opinion piece in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine.
The number of doctor visits for substance use disorders increased 70 percent among American adults between 2001 and 2009, according to a new study. The increase appears to be driven in large part by prescription drug abuse, the researchers said.
The Office of National Drug Control Policy has launched a new online training program to help doctors prescribe opioids more safely and effectively. The program’s goal is to reduce prescription drug abuse, The Boston Globe reports.
Doctors and nurses should routinely screen their adult patients and pregnant women for alcohol misuse, and provide those engaged in risky or hazardous drinking with brief behavioral counseling, according to new recommendations from a national task force.
A national training program launched last year is seeking to address the scarcity of physicians trained in treating addiction. The program, sponsored by the American Board of Addiction Medicine, aims to attract more doctors to the field, The Washington Post reports.
Physicians and other prescribers will not be required to take educational courses under a new government plan aimed at reducing prescription drug abuse. The Wall Street Journal reports the plan does compel the makers of extended-release painkillers to fund courses for doctors and provide safety information to patients.