Innovative Addiction Course for Medical Students Launched

CENTER CITY, MINN. (April 16, 2015) –An innovative education curriculum to train medical school students about addiction is now available from the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM).

"Substance abuse costs our nation over $600 billion a year and is a major contributor to other chronic illnesses," said Joseph Skrajewski, M.A., MFTI, the Director of Medical Education at the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, citing data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse. "Yet the average medical student in U.S. medical schools receives barely a mention of this critical topic during their entire education."

"The lack of formal education surrounding addiction has left many practicing physicians and healthcare professionals inadequately prepared to assess and treat their patients," continued Skrajewski. "Properly trained physicians could better serve addicted patients and also improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of general healthcare by identifying and treating lower severity substance use problems that so often co-occur in patients with chronic illnesses and injuries."

Medical schools can subscribe to the "Course on Addiction and Recovery Education" (CARE) through distributor MedU. The Treatment Research Institute (TRI) collaborated on the initiative. The course is comprised of six virtual patient cases and 14 video modules, focusing on the most common addiction and substance use topics that medical students and healthcare professionals need to be prepared to address. These modules and videos are designed to be used as stand-alone segments or in conjunction with current medical school curriculums. Learn more about the cases and modules on our website.

"Training in medical school is essential to ground future doctors with the belief that addictions are common, chronic, illnesses which appear to all medical specialists," said Sharon Levy, MD, MPH, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Director of the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program at Boston Children's Hospital. "The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, ASAM, TRI and MedU go to the center of this with the Course on Addiction and Recovery Education."

About the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation
The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation helps people reclaim their lives from the disease of addiction. It is the nation's largest nonprofit treatment provider, with a legacy that began in 1949 and includes the 1982 founding of the Betty Ford Center. With 16 sites in California, Minnesota, Oregon, Illinois, New York, Florida, Massachusetts, Colorado and Texas, the Foundation offers prevention and recovery solutions nationwide and across the entire continuum of care for youth and adults. It includes the largest recovery publishing house in the country, a fully-accredited graduate school of addiction studies, an addiction research center, an education arm for medical professionals and a unique children's program, and is the nation's leader in advocacy and policy for treatment and recovery.

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