The Safe Opioid Prescribing Curriculum would be provided through state funding. The following four key areas will be focused on: Instructing medical students about managing substance abuse disorders as a chronic disease; focusing on those patients who are at risk of developing problems with prescription opioids; pain management; and multimodal treatments for chronic pain that lessens the use of opioids, or prescribing opioids in a safe way according to guidelines when they need to be prescribed.
Students taking the Safe Opioid Prescribing Curriculum would have to show that they are proficient in the use of the heroin overdose antidote naloxone. Yaw issued the following statement regarding the proposed Safe Opioid Prescribing Curriculum, “We must collectively do more to address the rise in opioid abuse impacting our communities… It’s disturbing to learn that veterinarians often receive more training in pain management that many of our medical doctors. We need to have people properly trained in these areas. Our response to the heroin and opioid epidemic continues to evolve. As such, we need to evolve our curricula being taught in our medical schools. Training in certain areas, such as pain management, is a pivotal first step.”
Yaw said that the Safe Opioid Prescribing Curriculum would be a part of medical students’ overall education. The Pennsylvania Board of Medicine would have to evaluate the Safe Opioid Prescribing Curriculum every three years. You can read about other legislation Yaw has introduced concerning opioids and heroin here.
Yaw has been very vocal about the issue of opioid abuse in the Commonwealth. On April 28th, he attended a meeting at the Pennsylvania College of Technology along with Governor Tom Wolf and others in order to talk about the efforts being taken to fight opioid abuse and heroin use in Pennsylvania. Yaw issued the following statement at that time, “We appreciate the opportunity to sit down with Governor Wolf today in order to increase public awareness of the heroin and opioid crisis facing our rural counties… However, this is not just a rural issue. It’s a statewide issue. Fortunately, we have a coalition in Lycoming County called Project Bald Eagle that is working to stem the tide of heroin and opioid abuse through education, prevention, treatment, enforcement and data monitoring. Undoubtedly, it will take a statewide-wide effort to combat this issue and we thank the Governor for his involvement.”
Yaw is on the Project Bald Eagle Board of Directors. Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour of the Pennsylvania College of Technology is the Project Bald Eagle President. According to the Project Bald Eagle website, it’s mission is as follows, “Project Bald Eagle is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that is leading coalition efforts to stem the tide of the heroin epidemic through Education, Prevention, Treatment, Enforcement and Data Monitoring.”