The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has launched of its Addiction Performance Project – a CME 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 — the third act of Eugene O’Neill’s “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” — 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% 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, according to NIDA press release.
Our reporter Naseem Miller talked with NIDA director Dr. Nora Volkow about the need for this program.
We’re trying to generate empathy, as opposed to the stigmatized reaction that a lot of people get with drug addiction … There is still significant stigma on addiction in health care — whether it’s primary care physicians or specialized physicians.