Massachusetts medical schools aid war on opioid abuse

The state's medical schools have reached an agreement with the state to better teach their students how to recognize, prevent and manage prescription opioid abuse.

The standards announced Monday by the administration of Gov. Charlie Baker were developed by the state public health commissioner, the Massachusetts Medical Society, and the medical schools at the University of Massachusetts; Boston University, Tufts University; and Harvard University, which have about 3,000 students combined.

Under the 10 "core competencies," students will learn how to evaluate the risk of opioid addiction, learn how to treat patients at risk of substance abuse before they become addicted, and learn how to manage addiction as a chronic disease.

Each school will tailor the standards to complement existing curricula in order to ensure they are being delivered to all students.