Foster spoke first, and put the discussion in the larger context of the complex brain disease of addiction. She referenced CASAColumbia’s Addiction Medicine report, which highlighted a profound and troubling gap between what is known about the disease and how to prevent and treat it and what health care providers routinely do.
“Much of the problem of prescription drug misuse and addiction is being placed at the primary care provider’s doorstep,” said Foster. “In order to effectively prevent and treat addiction, they must educate patients about the disease and its risk factors and screen, diagnose, treat and manage the disease or refer for specialty care – just as they do for all other health conditions.”
Andrew Kolodny, MD, chief of psychiatry at Maimonides Hospital and president of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing, was the main speaker focusing on the growing and tragic consequences of prescription opioid misuse and the physician’s role in prevention and treatment. He was followed by Andrew Tartarsky, director of The Center for Optimal Living, who discussed the role of behavioral therapies in treating addiction.
A robust question and answer session followed the presentations.
CASAColumbia distributed a document containing key facts about substance use and addiction to all the physicians in attendance.
Photo: (left to right) Andrew Tartarsky, Andrew Kolodny and Susan Foster