With the misuse and abuse of heroin and other opioids at epidemic levels in Wisconsin and the rest of the country, the Society convened an Opioid Task Force in 2015 to shape and focus our efforts in three key areas: legislation, physician education and public awareness on this critical issue. Some of our efforts include the following:
- Working closely with State Rep. John Nygren on his Heroin, Opiate Prevention and Education (HOPE) Agenda, a series of 20 bills targeting heroin and prescription drug abuse and addiction that were introduced and passed during the past two legislative bienniums.
- Offering Improving Opioid Prescribing, a webinar series focusing on safe opioid prescribing practices. These webinars, presented by Wisconsin physicians who specialize in addiction and pain management, are designed to address the challenges faced by physicians and other prescribers and to improve opioid prescribing practices without compromising the quality of patient care. (Approved for AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.)
- Development of a performance improvement CME activity to support physicians in the implementation and use of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program. (Scheduled to launch in Fall 2016.)
- Partnering with Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel to help educate the public with a “Dose of Reality,” a statewide campaign to increase awareness and provide information to the public about the dangers of misusing prescription pain medicines.
- Creating greater awareness through print, radio and social media, including the distribution of public service announcements (PSA) recorded by Society members on the dangers of the misuse of opioids.
- Wisconsin Medical Examining Board Opioid Prescribing Guideline
- Dose of Reality: includes resources for physicians, parents and young people, including where to get help, fact sheets, warning signs, videos, drug take-back locations and more.
- Wisconsin Department of Health Services: Opioids (includes resources for clinicians, prescribers and patients and information about the statewide standing order for naloxone, treatment and more.
- Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: We have a heroin and opioid problem; let’s fix it by Jerry L. Halverson, MD, Michael M. Miller, MD, George L. Morris, MD Published Aug. 16, 2015
- Wisconsin Medical Society’s Statement of Principles for Proper Opioid Prescribing