Time to teach about life? – 

Nov. 8, 2020 – Three students at the Wayne State University School of Medicine led a new study now in press that reveals incoming medical students have greater opioid overdose knowledge than the general population, but still harbor significant misinformation and stigma toward patients with substance use disorders.

Tabitha Moses, May Chammaa and Rafael Ramos, are members of Detroit vs. Addiction, one of more than 70 student organizations medical students can join. Detroit vs. Addiction provides education to medical students regarding addiction, giving students the opportunity to provide holistic and non-judgmental care for people struggling with substance use disorders. Its overall mission is to encourage the initiation and maintenance of opioid addiction treatment by equipping the community with readily available resources. By working together with other health professionals throughout the community, they hope to improve the lives of those struggling with addiction.

The resulting paper, “Incoming medical students’ knowledge of and attitudes toward people with substance use disorders: implications for curricular training,” has been accepted for publication in Substance Abuse, the journal of the Association for Multidisciplinary Education and Research in Substance Use and Addiction.

More than half of students knew someone with a substance use disorder, and one-quarter knew someone who had overdosed on drugs. One surprising finding in the study is that students who had previously worked in health care knew less about opioid overdose response than those who had not; however, more of the students who had worked in health care believed that they had the knowledge and skills necessary to respond to an opioid overdose.

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