WE Care Coalition
Bennet introduces bill to mandate opioid training for some medical professors
By Michael Karlik, Colorado Politics Sep 23, 2020
U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet has introduced a bill requiring medical practitioners authorized to dispense controlled substances to receive training on opioid and substance abuse. “While our country grapples with the coronavirus, another epidemic has continued to rage. Across Colorado and the country, opioid use and other substance use disorders continue to devastate families and communities,” said Bennet. “We must fight this crisis from every angle, which includes addressing the stigma of addiction that persists even within the medical community.”
The Medication Access and Training Expansion Act would require the training to cover detoxification, substance use monitoring, overdose reversal, and anti-racism education, among other topics. According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, 1,062 residents died from a drug overdose last year. Approximately 40% of those deaths stemmed from prescription opioids.
“With a record number of Americans dying from drug overdoses last year — and reports of major spikes across the country — it’s clear that the medical community must do more to identify and treat individuals living with addiction,” said Paul H. Earley, the president of the American Society of Addiction Medicine in endorsing the legislation. “By requiring all registered prescribers of controlled substances to undergo a one-time, universal training in addiction medicine, the bipartisan MATE Act will empower them to deliver evidence-based treatment and save lives."