Schools Producing High Number of Students Certified to Treat Opioid Abuse

Oxycodone is the generic name for a range of opoid pain killing tablets. Prescription bottle for Oxycodone tablets and pills on wooden table for opioid epidemic illustration
By KCBS All News 106.9FM and 740AM

The treatment of opioid abuse is a growing industry at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and the medical and nursing schools are turning out far higher numbers of students certified in the area.

While hardly an hour passes without hearing the word pandemic, large numbers of Americans continue to die of the opioid epidemic: 130 every day and 47,000 in a year. 

UCSF Medical School Professor Matt Tierney told KCBS Radio that a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is paying dividends.

“Right now, it’s an optional course,” Tierney explained. “But 77 students completed the requirements to be able to apply for a specific kind of DEA license once they get licensed.”

He added that the school is going to have 107 students complete the requirements, and its goal next year is for 200 students.

Getting licensed allows them to administer what some think is a wonder drug—buprenorphine—to treat addiction. Tierney said the goal is to continue to boost the number of trained personnel. 

UCSF is working to make the opioid class mandatory for all students.