It's no secret that getting a public health handle on the opioid crisis will take a multi-pronged effort for an extended period. Part of the solution was the policy development, passage and implementation of the Arizona Opioid Epidemic Act. Other elements include developing and implementing new Opioid Prescribing Guidelines and developing new regulations for pain management clinics.
Another huge element is changing the culture of pain and addiction care. ADHS has completed a Arizona Pain and Addiction Curriculum that approaches pain and addiction in a new way - as complex, interrelated, public-health issues.
The curriculum was jointly developed by Deans and Curriculum Representatives from every MD, DO, NP, PA, ND, DMD and DPM program in Arizona. The program stresses not only the new evidence base of pain and addiction care.
Resources for programs consist of both a Pain and Addiction Curriculum and a Pain and Addiction Faculty Guide. Because it was created and facilitated by public health, it’s accessible online at any time, to the appreciation of other teaching programs across the country.
Kudos to ADHS and the dozens of stakeholders for this novel work and especially AzPHA member Lisa Villarroel MD. Work on this scale hasn’t been done before in the US - so kudos to our Arizona teaching programs for being so open and collaborative. This is another example of the stakeholder driven innovative work being done right here in Arizona that's likely to be adopted as a best practice in other states.