Innovative Vancouver program trains doctors in prevention and treatment of addictions

August 26th, 2015

The Goldcorp Addiction Medicine Program, a $3-million program funded by Goldcorp, trains up to eight health practitioners (six doctors and two nurses) at St. Paul’s each year on treating people with drug addiction.

It’s the first program of its kind in Western Canada that provides much needed specialized training in the addictions field. Currently, most medical students receive minimal formal training in this area.

“They understand least about treating addiction to stimulants such as cocaine or crystal meth, that remains a root challenge, since we don’t have good medical options to treat those conditions,” Dr. Annabel Mead, director of the Goldcorp Addiction Medicine Program, told 24 Hours Vancouver newspaper last week.

Training includes detox, in-patient addiction care, residential treatment, and complex pain training. The one-year course includes a mix of classroom learning, study periods, role-playing, hands-on training, and field trips.

“We try and train them up, to be at the end of the 12 months, to be fully functioning addictions physicians so they can deal with anything from minor substance use disorders to managing severe substance use disorders and across a whole range … alcohol, smoking, marijuana and all the other illicit drugs,” Mead was quoted by 24 Hours Vancouver.

Visit 24 Hours Vancouver to read more.