Corridor doctors educated on fighting opioid epidemic

Corridor healthcare professionals sit in on a workshop to learn what they can do to end the opioid crisis on Friday, January 19th.

The opioid epidemic is a rising issue in the United States, and Iowa is no exception to that growth.

That's why corridor medical professionals spent time learning how to notice addiction signs during a two-day workshop at the university of Iowa this week.

“Addiction can look like a mental health problem or a physical health problem. And so we're trying to help them understand what would be some quick questions to at least alert them that this may be a person with an addiction,” said Dr. David Mee-Lee, Chief Editor of the American Society of Addiction Medicine Criteria.

Dr. David Mee-Lee acted as the featured speaker for the workshops on Thursday and Friday. Lee says his main goal is making sure healthcare providers can properly treat any-and-all patients.

”This person in front of me might have come in for a headache or stress or whatever but they could have an addiction,” said Mee-Lee.

Over 200 medical professionals attended the event between both days. The workshops included lectures, q-and-a sessions, and interactive demonstrations. Each session was designed to leave the professionals with methods to think about.

"Today he's bringing up stuff that I’m thinking 'Why aren't we doing that in our offices? Why aren't we doing that in our practices with folks?’” said President of the Center for Alcohol and Drug Services, Joe Cowley.

According to Mee-Lee, though, the fight against opioid addiction. doesn't stop at educating healthcare professionals. Family members and friends of those facing addictions can also help lower to number of opioid related deaths.

“Tell the person ‘I think you might have the illness of addiction’,” suggested Dr. Mee-Lee when asked how loved ones should talk to the addict. “Not to be nagging all the time, not to be pouring alcohol down the drain, but I would suggest they go to get some help."

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