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New course to train physicians to reduce patient opioid use

ALBERTA (660 NEWS) — A new online course developed by the University of Calgary, Alberta Health Services and College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta for physicians aims to reduce patients’ reliance on opioids.

Titled Wise Prescribing and Deprescribing: Opioid Skills for the Frontline Clinician, the course will train family doctors and specialists how to safely prescribe and wean patients taking opioids. As the body adjusts to the initial dosage of opioids, additional medication is required to manage the pain.

According to Jason Luan, Alberta’s associate minister of Mental Health and Addiction, creating new tools for health care professionals is crucial to preventing patients from developing substance use issues in the future.

“Safe prescribing and tapering patients taking opioid medications is one of the key ways we can work to prevent future substance use issues,” he stated in a press release. “Our government is proud to support the development of new resources and tools to make sure health care professionals have the most up to date information on appropriate prescribing practices.”

Short podcasts, interview clips with physicians, as well as patient testimonials are among the materials included in the course. It also requires attendance at two in-person workshops to bring physicians together to learn from each other.