CCMS Medicine Spring 2017 - 22

www.CHESTERCMS.org

A

In Search
of Regional
Response
to the
Overdose
Crisis
BY RENÉE M. CASSIDY, MD, FAAP, FACP

22 C H E S T E R C O U N T Y M e d i c i n e | S P R I N G 2 0 1 7

32-year-old male who lives in Delaware
County and works in Chester County
visits Kensington and experiences
a heroin overdose; he is now interested in
treatment, but where? A batch of fentanyllaced heroin causes numerous deaths in a single
weekend and officials fear that more deaths
will follow. Anyone who pays attention to
news from any source will not be surprised that
Pennsylvania has a grave problem with opioid
addiction. That problem does not respect
county borders, and many in the field took steps
this month to ensure that our response to the
problem does not stop at county lines either.
Representatives from multiple counties recently
collaborated on a symposium to create a regional approach to
overdose. Within Southeast Pennsylvania, numerous groups
have already been addressing the alarming increase in opioid
abuse and overdose, including the Bucks County Overdose
Prevention and Education Collaborative, the Chester County
Overdose Prevention Task Force, the Delaware County
Heroin Task Force, the Montgomery County Overdose Task
Force, and The Mayor's Task Force to Combat the Opioid
Epidemic in Philadelphia. Yet these groups have largely
worked within their own counties, until now. With the
partnership of the Philadelphia County Medical Society, the
Chester County Medical Society, and the Delaware County
Medical Society, along with members of these task forces
and others dedicated to treating and preventing drug abuse
and overdose, events were held over three days in March to
establish regional connections.
On Thursday, March 16th, an educational presentation
on safe opioid prescribing practices was offered at the
Springfield Country Club in Springfield, Delaware County.
A repeat session was held Saturday, March 18th at the
Philadelphia County Medical Society. The SCOPE (Safe
and Competent Opioid Prescribing Education) of Pain
course originated at Boston University and has been offered
through in-person and online sessions designed to improve
opioid prescribing for chronic pain. Targeted to physicians,
nurse practitioners, nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists,
and social workers, the SCOPE of Pain course was taught
by Daniel P. Alford, MD, MPH, FACP, FASAM, of Boston
University School of Medicine, and Yngvild Olsen, MD,
MPH, from Institutes for Behavior Resources, Inc., in
Baltimore. The sessions were well-attended and informative,
and focused on safer prescribing of opioid pain medications,
addressing prescreening, risk factors for misuse and abuse,
treatment monitoring, and handling difficult situations such
as suspected diversion. These educational presentations will


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CCMS Medicine Spring 2017

CCMS Medicine Spring 2017 - 1
CCMS Medicine Spring 2017 - 2
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CCMS Medicine Spring 2017 - 31
CCMS Medicine Spring 2017 - 32
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