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Federal Grant Funds Development of Medical School Programs in Addiction Medicine

The National Institute of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse (NIAAA) has given the University of Buffalo a $900,000 grant to develop graduate medical education programs in addiction medicine.

The grant will fund a council of leaders in the field of addiction who will develop programs that can be used in medical schools around the country, the Associated Press reports.

“There is a shortage of academically oriented addiction medicine physicians qualified to conduct clinical research on addictions, to translate this research into practice, and to teach medical students and a wide range of residents about addiction in academic medical centers,” said Dr. Richard Blondell, Director of Addictions Research at the university, in an NIAAA news release. “This grant will allow established leaders in addiction medicine to help bridge the gap between research and medical education on one hand and clinical practice on the other, and train a new cohort of leaders who will continue to advance the field.”

The grant is designed to address the spectrum of addictions, from alcohol to illicit substances and prescription drugs, Blondell noted in a University of Buffalo news release. “The purpose is to educate primary care doctors as well as emergency medicine physicians and, frankly, physicians in all the specialties on how to treat their patients who are already addicted, while also preventing non-addicted patients from developing addictions. Part of that education involves connecting the dots. If a person with an addiction is going into the hospital for orthopedic surgery, the surgeon needs to know about the addiction. Right now, there is no established infrastructure for disseminating that information.”