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Education and Training for Substance Use Disorders

Approved by the Joint Reference Committee, October 2020

  • 2020

Resource Document on Education and Training for Substance Use Disorders

Approved by the Joint Reference Committee, October 2020

Current training of physicians in the recognition and treatment of substance use disorders (SUD) is inadequate to meet the needs of such a diverse and growing population of patients. Medical schools, physician training (residency) programs, and continuing education programs for physicians in practice, provide limited training in the treatment of SUDs. The scope of training on SUDs is disproportionate to the population health need to address these problems, and many with SUDs go undiagnosed and untreated. In the past decade there have been marked advancements in the science of addiction, which includes an expanding range of evidence-based pharmacologic and behavioral treatments. Despite these advances and a growing knowledge base, the educational requirements in psychiatry and other medical residencies have not shifted, leaving many physicians ill-prepared to manage SUDs in practice (1).

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