AAFP Joins National Effort to Fight Prescription Drug Abuse

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Megan Moriarty
Public Relations Strategist
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237, Ext. 5221

AAFP will increase physician training and education


WEST VIRGINIA -- Today, the American Academy of Family Physicians joined the President and a number of public and private sector partners to announce new efforts to address the prescription drug abuse and heroin epidemic.

The President will highlight these efforts at an event in Charleston, West Virginia, today where he will hear directly from individuals and families affected by this epidemic and the health care professionals, law enforcement officers and community leaders working to prevent addiction and respond to its aftermath.

To show its support for this critical public health issue, the AAFP will, over the next two years, increase family physician education in opioid prescribing practices, increase the number of family physicians who complete medication-assisted training for the treatment for opioid addiction, and increase overall awareness about opioid abuse and pain management.

The AAFP’s commitment is part of a nationwide effort to address the prescription drug abuse and heroin epidemic. In total, the more than 40 provider groups involved in this initiative -- including family physicians, dentists, registered nurses, physician assistants, physical therapists and educators -- committed to:

  • Have more than 540,000 health care providers complete opioid prescriber training in the next two years;
  • Double the number of physicians certified to prescribe buprenorphine for opioid use disorder treatment, from 30,000 to 60,000 over the next three years;
  • Double the number of providers that prescribe naloxone -- a drug that can reverse an opioid overdose;
  • Double the number of health care providers registered with their State Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs in the next two years; and
  • Reach more than 4 million health care providers with awareness messaging on opioid abuse, appropriate prescribing practices, and actions providers can take to be a part of the solution in the next two years.

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Founded in 1947, the AAFP represents 136,700 physicians and medical students nationwide. It is the largest medical society devoted solely to primary care. Family physicians conduct approximately one in five office visits -- that’s 192 million visits annually or 48 percent more than the next most visited medical specialty. Today, family physicians provide more care for America’s underserved and rural populations than any other medical specialty. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing, personal patient-physician relationship focused on integrated care.  To learn more about the specialty of family medicine, the AAFP's positions on issues and clinical care, and for downloadable multi-media highlighting family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, please visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.familydoctor.org(familydoctor.org).