BIRMINGHAM – The Medical Association and the American Medical Association partnered in the development and release of a toolbox of data, education and other resources to aid physicians in their continued fight against Alabama’s epidemic of prescription drug misuse, overdose and death. The toolbox was released in a press conference during the Association’s November Opioid Prescribing Education conference in Birmingham.
This toolbox is part of the Medical Association’s continuing efforts – legislative and other – to reverse this epidemic, and Alabama is one of two states participating in this pilot program.
“Although Alabama is no longer the top prescriber of opioids in the country, we still have a very long way to go as far as educating our physicians and other prescribers how to properly handle the prescription of opioid pain medication and those patients that require that medication,” said Medical Association Executive Director Mark Jackson. “This toolbox will help physicians not only educate patients about pain, but also provide resources for overdose prevention and treatment.”
Jackson said he hopes Alabama’s physicians will find the toolbox useful and help strengthen their physician-patient relationships as they continue to discuss pain-related issues with their patients.
“This toolbox contains the types of data and resources that physicians can rely on to help improve their practices for their patients,” said Gerald Harmon, M.D., chair-elect of the American Medical Association Board of Trustees, who also spoke at the press conference. “We recognize that we have much more to accomplish, but physicians in Alabama and across the nation already have made important strides to reverse the nation’s opioid epidemic, and using these resources will help physicians continue that progress.”
Alabama, along with Rhode Island, are the only two states in this grant. These states were chosen due to many factors, including high rates of opioid-related harm as well as diverse demographic, socioeconomic, geographic and other characteristics. The characteristics offer excellent opportunities to study the implementation of the toolbox, refine it, and potentially use it as a model for other states that want to undertake similar efforts.
The toolbox can be viewed online at www.SmartAndSafeAL.org/physicians.
Funding for this initiative was made possible (in part) by Providers’ Clinical Support System for Opioid Therapies (grant no. 5H79TI025595) from SAMHSA. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.