BMA report, ‘Drugs of Dependence: The Role of Medical Professionals’

News item posted: 19 June 2017

The BMA has launched a major initiative to open a debate about the future of UK drug policy. One priority highlighted is the need to 'improve medical schools' patchy and uncoordinated education about drugs'. In response to this Dr. Gordon Morse, Medical Director for Turning Point said;

"This is an important and worthwhile initiative. Illicit drug use and misuse is everywhere, and its consequences are seen by doctors on a daily basis - doctors need to be equipped with the intelligence and the skills to respond to the challenges that arise - both in terms of the medical and disease challenges, and the challenges to their own innate prejudices.

Many specialist drugs agencies contribute to the education of medical practitioners. For instance, Turning Point have developed a scholarship with the Severn Deanery in developing GP Registrars to GPwSI standard, and provides specialist substance misuse experience to Psychiatry registrars in training.

This sort of contribution to training by specialist agencies is right, and should be built upon - but it is still ad hoc. As the BMA's report last week highlighted, education should begin at undergraduate level and be built in to every medical school's syllabus in the country. Drug use and its consequences will remain with us for the foreseeable future, indeed there is every reason to believe that it will become even more significant, and the medical profession should be equipped to respond."