Maryland Implements Strategies to Curb Opioid ODs, Deaths

Strategies include training in screening, interventions, and referrals to treatment
Strategies include training in screening, interventions, and referrals to treatment

HealthDay News — Strategies are being implemented to reduce opioid overdoses and deaths in Maryland, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

A series of special training programs, including training on how to use the Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment strategy in office-based settings are being facilitated by the Maryland State Medical Society (MedChi). The aim is to get 250 physicians to attend 2 sessions planned for June 20 and 22.

In the first 9 months of 2016 there was a 72% increase in heroin-related overdose deaths and a 17% increase in fatal opioid-related overdoses, compared with the same period in 2015. During 2016 there were 13.3% fewer opioid prescriptions filled in Maryland compared with 2013, lagging behind the 14.6% national decrease in opioid prescriptions during this period. MedChi has contacted Maryland physicians to encourage them to enroll in the state's prescription drug monitoring program. In addition, two AMA-supported bills were signed by the Maryland governor that provided support for treatment. 

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"We also support the increased emphasis on youth education to help our children and young adults understand the risks of opioid misuse and illicit drug use," AMA Board Chairman Patrice Harris, MD, said in a statement.

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