Scope of Pain Seminar provides training for physicians - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Scope of Pain Seminar provides training for physicians

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The Boston University School of Medicine is helping the medical community here in Vermont address concerns around treatment for chronic pain and how to provide patients with access to education.

As Vermont battles the increasing use of opioids, concerns in the medical community have soared as physicians look to balance treating chronic pain and avoiding addiction.

"Because of that increase in availability they've gotten into the wrong hands, people who are naive to these medications..and it's resulted in lots of problems," said Daniel Alford of Boston University.

Saturday, the Scope of Pain Seminar provided training for more than 150 physicians and prescribers. The panel discussion addressed concerns around keeping opioids off the streets and how doctors educate patients about substance abuse.

"We have a large 10 million dollar grant that we're trying to encourage prescribers to give them the training and tools that they need to screen people for risky substance use to prevent them from becoming that very small number of people who then become addicted," said Dr. Harry Chen of the Vermont Dept. of Health.

"There really are no easy answers, and that was a take home point yet at the same time I feel like I've learned more of the risk assessment tools to use," said Emily Glick, MD of Briston Internal Medicine.

The panel also encouraged support systems for patients dealing with chronic pain who may be susceptible to addiction.

"It is important to create that recovery peer network to provide kind of a different way to deal with their life and their challenges that wont necessarily lead them right back to their original problem," said Dr. Chen.

Boston University School of Medicine has brought the seminar to more than 5 thousand medical professionals in the past 3 years and say 2/3 of those in attendance apply what they learn within 2 months, they hope to see the same results right here in Vermont.

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