Public Release: 

BUSM's SCOPE of Pain receives national award

Boston University Medical Center

Boston--White House Drug Control Policy Director Michael Botticelli has awarded Boston University School of Medicine's Safe and Competent Opioid Prescribing Education (SCOPE of Pain) program a 2014 National High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) award for Outstanding Prevention Effort.

SCOPE of Pain was launched in 2013. It is a continuing medical/nursing education training on safe opioid prescribing for chronic pain. In less than two years, the program has successfully educated more than 10,500 clinicians through online and live trainings convened throughout the country in collaboration with federal, state, and local partners, including the New England HIDTA

Chronic pain affects approximately 100 million in the U.S., making it one of the most common reasons for patients to seek medical care. Unfortunately, pain management, including the appropriate use of opioids, is not well covered in medical training. Moreover, there are inadequate numbers of pain management specialists to help generalist clinicians manage these patients.

"Clinicians who prescribe opioid analgesics to treat chronic pain are in a key position to balance the benefits and risks of chronic opioid therapy. However, they struggle with the goal of adequately managing their patients' chronic pain while confronting the risks associated with prescription opioid misuse and abuse. We are honored that SCOPE of Pain has been recognized to address this pressing need," said Daniel Alford, MD, MPH, dean of the office of Continuing Medical Education and associate professor of medicine at BUSM, who is the director of SCOPE of Pain.

Created by Congress in 1988, the HIDTA program serves as a catalyst for coordination among Federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies operating in areas determined to be critical drug trafficking regions of the United States. Law enforcement organizations working within HIDTAs assess drug-trafficking issues and design specific initiatives to decrease the production, transportation, distribution, and chronic use of drugs and money laundering. There are currently 28 HIDTAs located in 48 states, as well as in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia.

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Contact: Gina DiGravio, 617-638-8480, ginad@bu.edu

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