Blog

WSVMA VetMed Matters Conference to address opioid crisis and veterinary medicine March 16

  |   Continuing Education

Between 1999 and 2017, almost 500,000 people died from an opioid overdose, both prescription and illicit. In 2014, it was reported that there were approximately 150% more opioid overdose deaths than deaths from motor vehicle crashes. On average, we are now seeing 50,000 opioid deaths per year. Approximately 40% of these deaths involve a prescription opioid, not illicit drugs. We are losing more than 140 Americans per day to overdoses and millions more are struggling with opioid addiction. In 2017, Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency and announced a 5-Point Strategy to combat this crisis.

The human opioid crisis has clearly impacted veterinary medicine including drug shortages and the need for alternative methods to address pain, drug seeking pet owners, and opioid abuse among team members. In addition to providing humane care for animal patients, veterinarians have a role to play in combatting the abuse and misuse of pain medications.

Join us on Saturday, March 16 at Renton Technical College where we’ll address the following questions:

  • What is the history of the opioid crisis and how does it affect veterinarians’ prescribing ability?
  • How is the human medical world approaching this problem?
  • Is that a concerned pet owner or a drug seeker with a fishy story?
  • Am I following DEA regulations appropriately?
  • As a veterinarian, how do I report opioid prescriptions?
  • Should we treat chronic pain with opioid drugs?
  • When is the goal of reducing pain for veterinary patients causing too many other medical problems?
  • Are there alternatives to opioid drugs?

Learn how veterinary medicine can be a part of the solution to this devastating crisis and how veterinary medicine can best address the ramifications of a national epidemic. Speakers are still being secured but so far include Ricardo Quintero from the Drug Enforcement Agency, Brad Finegood from Seattle King County Public Health, and Gary Garrety from the Prescription Monitoring Program. We’ll also engage experts in veterinary pain management and a physician to discuss the parallels in human health.

WSVMA’s VetMed Matters Conference is a meeting where we tackle important subjects that span across practice types and look at emerging issues affecting the veterinary profession. We carefully select thought leaders, inviting the best and brightest to share their knowledge, insight, and expertise with our members.

Another reason to participate is that you have direct access to WSVMA leadership and issues. The Board of Directors will meet at the conclusion of the meeting. Bringing members and leadership together, you can help guide WSVMA, generating ideas that direct our continuing education offerings, shape our position on legislative and regulatory issues, and lead to task forces or work groups for specific issues we decide to pursue.

Register today to attend the VetMed Matters Conference. Complete program information will be sent to members next week.

 

Posted February 1, 2019