NIDA Raises the Curtain on Addiction

Submission Date: April 18, 2011
Attributing Author: NIDA Press Office
Source: NIH News

Addiction Performance Project premiers for clinicians.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) announced today the launch of its Addiction Performance Project (http://www.drugabuse.gov/nidamed/APP/), an innovative continued medical education program designed to help primary care providers break down the stigma associated with addiction. The program includes dramatic interpretation of a family’s struggle with addiction, followed by a dialogue among participants aimed to foster compassion, cooperation, and understanding for patients living with this disease.

Of the 23.5 million patients who needed specialized treatment for a drug or alcohol problem in 2009, nearly 90 percent had not received it. Research suggests that primary care providers could significantly help reduce drug use, before it escalates to abuse or addiction. However, many express concern that they do not have the experience or tools to identify drug use in their patients.

“Primary care providers can play such a vital role in screening for drug abuse, said NIDA Director Dr. Nora D. Volkow. “Yet, for many providers, discussing drug abuse with their patients is beyond their comfort zone. NIDA’s Addiction Performance Project is a creative way for doctors to earn CME credit while breaking down the stigma associated with drug addiction.”

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