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New medical training to reduce addictive opioid use


You’ve heard “fighting fire with fire,” now some doctors are fighting drug addiction with drugs.


The College of Medicine at Central Michigan University has received a 430-thousand dollar federal grant to train new doctors to use medication to help with the addiction withdrawal process.


Juliette Perzhinsky is an associate professor with the college and the project leader for the program. She said it will teach young medical professionals about medication like buprenorphine that don’t have addictive side effects.


“In essence, medications like this are shown to be very efficacious and safe to treat patients with opioid addiction.”


Perzhinsky said the program will focus on medication that treats addictions without the effect of chemical dependency.


The College of Medicine has received a federal grant to educate new doctors on what’s called M.A.T. or Medication Assisted Treatment.


M.A.T. treats addiction patients with drugs that don’t have addictive side effects.


Perzhinsky said right now only about two-percent of doctors are certified in M.A.T. treatment. One of the goals of the program is to create a network of medical professionals trained in M.A.T.


“There are over 60 sites that we’re hoping to find somebody is doing MAT or at least, if they’re not doing it, emphasize the need to,” she said. “This is a void in our curriculum, that we’re hoping that the faculty would engage in potentially doing MAT.”


Perzhinsky said she would like to see M.A.T. training spread around the state.


The program trains doctors and physician assistants to to prescribe withdrawal medications to patients addicted to opioids.

Perzhinsky said it’s helpful to use medication to help people off opioids, sometimes a person’s own D-N-A may be working against them.


“Addiction actually has a high genetic predisposition. There are some people that have genetic likelihood or predisposition to developing an opioid use disorder.”


Perzhinsky said it’s important to teach people about medicines that can help s with opioid addiction.


The training is expected to begin this spring.