The University of Washington Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute launched a new interactive online education program that gives healthcare providers the knowledge and tools they need to discuss medicinal cannabis with their patients suffering from chronic pain.
Medicinal cannabis has been shown to be an effective therapy in the treatment of chronic pain. Though a legally available option in Washington State, recommendations for medicinal cannabis may be avoided by providers who lack knowledge about the potential benefits and risks of this approach in managing chronic pain, and confidence in discussing this option with their patients.
“Washington State passed one of the earliest laws allowing for the use of medical marijuana by qualified patients. We now have the legal marijuana as well for non-medical use. Thus, regardless of personal opinions or viewpoints, it is critical that all health care providers in our state possess a good working knowledge of the pharmacology of cannabis,” said Dr. Gregory Carter, Medical Director of St. Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute in Spokane and a key instructor in the training.
"Medicinal Cannabis and Chronic Pain" was developed with a grant awarded to ADAI Research Scientist Dr. Beatriz Carlini by the Washington Office of the Attorney General to offer non-judgmental, science-based information to healthcare providers and the general public.
“Our ultimate goal is to help clinicians to make informed clinical decisions on this topic. The information provided during the trainings aims to destigmatize cannabis and increase providers’ comfort level in talking to patients about medicinal cannabis,” Carlini said. Included on the training website are patient education materials and screening and clinical tools for providers. Up to 2.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ are available for health care providers who successfully complete the online course.
More information about this project and a link to the training can be found at http://adai.uw.edu/mcacp/.