Submitted by: MSV Medical Student Section
WHEREAS, the number of fatal heroin and fentanyl overdoses in Virginia has steadily increased over the past 5 years, with an almost 6-fold total increase in number of deaths between 2011 to 20161.
WHEREAS, President Trump and Governor Northam have declared the opioid crisis a Public Health Emergency2 3.
WHEREAS, overdose education and naloxone distribution (OEND) programs implemented in Massachusetts, Baltimore, and New York resulted in decreased deaths from opioid overdose and were effective at improving knowledge and attitudes toward opioid overdose 4 5 6.
WHEREAS, no current statewide educational resources or standardized curriculum exists within the Virginia Department of Education regarding the opioid epidemic7.
WHEREAS, the AMA Opioid Task Force encourages physicians to “enhance education and training” and “help end the stigma” of opioids8.
RESOLVED, that the Medical Society of Virginia support the creation of statewide educational resources for Virginia public schools regarding the opioid crisis and opioid overdose.
RESOLVED, that the Medical Society of Virginia support Virginia public schools in establishing a curriculum to educate students on opioid overdose, including identifying symptoms of overdose, treating overdose, and providing support for victims of opioid abuse/overdose.
1 “Opioid Addiction.” Virginia Department of Health, 2018, www.vdh.virginia.gov/data/opioid-overdose/.
4 Heavey SC, Burstein G, Moore C, Homish GG. Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution Program Attendees: Who Attends, What Do They Know, and How Do They Feel? J Public Health Manag Pract. 2018 Jan/Feb;24(1):63-68. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28257406
5 Walley AY, Xuan Z, Hackman HH, et al. Opioid overdose rates and implementation of overdose education and nasal naloxone distribution in Massachusetts: interrupted time series analysis. BMJ. 2013 Jan 30;346:f174. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23372174
6 Lewis DA, Park JN, Vail L, et al. Evaluation of the Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution Program of the Baltimore Student Harm Reduction Coalition. Am J Public Health. 2016 Jul;106(7):1243-6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27077351