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Pharmacy Residency Podcast: Residency Interviews and Advice


Jun 3, 2018

Kaycie Rathburn interviews Dr. Austin De La Cruz, a Board Certified Psychiatric Pharmacist, at the APhA Institute on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse in Salt Lake City, Utah. They are working to bring awareness to their home state. The APhA Institute hopes to carry the message forward and provide pharmacists, student pharmacists, and the profession with resources, information, and guidance regarding addiction education. 

Full Transcript:

welcome to the pharmacy leaders podcast
with your host Tony Guerra the pharmacy
leaders podcast is a member of the
pharmacy podcast network with interviews
and advice on building your professional
network brand and a purposeful second
income from students residents and
innovative professionals welcome to
pharmacy leaders podcast this is Casey
Rathburn I'm a student at the University
of Houston College of Pharmacy and our
APHA ASP chapter president we're at the
APHA Institute on alcoholism and drug
dependencies in Salt Lake City Utah
today my guest is dr. de la Cruz
welcome can you tell us a little bit
about yourself hello yes I'm a clinical
assistant professor at the University
used in College of Pharmacy and with a
specialty in psychiatry and so my main
purpose at the University is mostly to
teach the psychiatric related courses as
well as take students on rotation in
that outpatient psychiatric pharmacy
setting okay
so why did you or what did you
originally hope to get out of Institute
so one of the things that I really
wanted to get out of this institute was
to get a more in-depth educational
experience with regards to substance
abuse I feel like with most of the
psychiatric conferences that I do attend
there's just so many different disorders
to cover we're talking about major
depressive disorder bipolar
schizophrenia and the list goes on and
on and so the chances that substance
abuse actually gets covered in those
psychiatric really conferences is maybe
one or two hour lectures so I'm really
just learning about the statistic so the
latest opioid epidemic and so coming to
this Institute I really wanted to get a
better grasp on substance use disorder
as a whole and I think that's one of the
things I definitely got out of this
whole conference entirely is just
hearing the actual stories from the
people has been very out when did you
first decide that you are going to come
and how did you hear about these two so
one of the other faculty members
approached me and she asked if this was
something that I am interested in being
a psychiatric pharmacist one of the
areas that I do cover is substance use
disorder so she thought it would be a
great opportunity for me to come to this
conference and maybe little learn a
little bit more about substance use
disorder and hearing from people that
have been affected by it
what do you hope to do with the
information that you've learned when you
get back so one of the big things that I
plan to do is to further try to
eradicate this stigma associated with
substance use disorder I feel like in a
psychiatric setting one of the main
problems that a lot of people have is
that whenever they hear about someone
with a substance use disorder they
automatically label them as an advocate
or they automatically think that we
can't treat this individual that's
something for another physician to
handle but I feel like as pharmacists we
should be more open and more accepting
to these individuals because this is a
disorder this is the disease we know
through the path of physiological
changes that through the reward system
pathway the ventral tegmental area that
we need to do something and we can't
just ignore this problem this we
wouldn't like they were saying earlier
today we wouldn't ignore someone with
cancer II wouldn't ignore someone with
diabetes or hypertension
why should we ignore those individuals a
substance use disorder
I feel like mental health is especially
when the addiction is one of the few
areas that will actually blame someone
for that particular condition that they
have and I think we need to completely
change our thinking when it comes to the
stigma of substance use disorder and try
to advocate for the treatment and
improve education when it comes to
pharmacy students gotcha so do you see
that do you see that stigma in your
clinical setting as well as in the
educational setting and do you see
opportunities and those settings to use
the information that you've learned
definitely so
we unfortunately do see it both in the
outpatient and inpatient setting the one
psychotic
sometimes over here people live in
labeling individuals with substance use
disorder and and a lot of people a lot
of physicians really kind of tiptoe
around the subject so I feel like with
pharmacy the one major thing that we can
do is maybe try to encourage more
treatments and try to educate more the
providers try to educate other
pharmacists about this substance use
disorder one thing that I also will try
to change try to increase the amount of
lecture content associate with substance
use disorder I feel like when it comes
to making recommendations for methadone
or buprenorphine and everything else
like that for the actual treatments
that's something that we do cover but
not really in depth and I feel like
that's something that we could probably
utilize more and try to improve the
education for future pharmacy students
when it comes to actual treatments of
substance use disorders and if you think
about Houston where do you see the
greatest need in our community for you
know more disinformation that you can
use it in practice that's a great
question I would say starting from if
we're looking at the community maybe
starting from the retail setting I feel
like a lot of pharmacists have this kind
of they might have this perception of
individuals with substance use disorder
and maybe not take the actual time to
counsel them thoroughly maybe not take
the time to provide them with resources
maybe not take the time to actually talk
to them about what's really going on and
I think that's where we can start to
change starting from a pharmacy school
setting teaching students so that the
next generation of pharmacists are ready
to counsel ready to educate the lay
people about this disorder as well as
the necessary treatments needed for
substance use disorder
do you see common overlap and you
mentioned not talking to people about
what is actually going on
with counseling do you see overlap with
that with other mental health diseases
and substance use disorders yes I feel
like since substance these disorder does
all under the umbrella of mental health
that mental health in general just
unfortunately is not talked about as
much as it should be recently we have
seen a little bit more about mental
health and recently we're seeing more
talk about the opioid epidemic and
everything else in between so I feel
like it does need to be addressed it
does need to be talked about and we
should not shy away from this anymore
the more we're open about it then when
we educate people about it the more
likely that individuals are actually
going to go out and seek treatment from
their providers or maybe talk to someone
that and ask them what should I do about
this I feel like giving people hope
letting them know that they do have
people that can help them is the
strongest thing that we can provide for
those individuals it's letting them know
that we can help you and if we
personally can't treat them then we can
at least refer them out to someone that
can mm-hmm um so you touch them a little
bit but why do you think it's important
for faculty members to attend this
institute and be educated in this study
I feel like it's not only from
psychiatric pharmacists standpoint but
other professions should be well aware
of what's going on with regards to the
opioid epidemic can I feel like it is
important for all of our faculty to
attend simply because addiction can
touch almost every single person it does
not discriminate so that's one of the
things that can occur in the inpatient
setting
I can occur in critical care zone it can
occur the ambulatory care setting so
just thinking about all the specialties
you can still have an individual with a
substance use disorder and knowing how
to properly manage them and treat them
is important and not just ignore that
particular patient and say well let's
like let's let the pain clinic deal with
that particular issue or let's pass this
to their primary care provider maybe try
to address it right then and there maybe
try to provide this individual with
resources if they do come up come into
the ER with alcohol related issues and
overdose related to some sort of
prescription opioid right then and there
that can make the intervention instead
of constantly passing that individual
off to another provider so I think
that's why it's important no matter what
the speciality is is then people are
educated in other forms are educated
with regards to this substance use
disorder problem and to kind of play off
of that why would you think it's
important for students to attend the
Institute so for students since you all
are the next generation of pharmacists I
think the one thing that needs to change
is the understanding and like going back
to the first question with regards to
stigma I feel like no matter what we can
do is if we're eradicating the stigma
and people are less likely to keep it to
themselves they will more likely go out
to a provider go out to a farm
assistance and say look I have a problem
and so that's where we can reach out a
helping hand and help them turn to a
particular treatment that we know that
is evidence-based and will be effective
for them so I feel like students from
right now right now are the most
important thing that we can we can try
to change and try to change featured
pharmacist understanding of this
disorder and showing that it is a
chronic condition that that we do need
to help individuals and not just ignore
how do you think this experience will
impact you further into your career and
just as any profession as a whole so one
of the great things that I really took
away from this conference was hearing
everybody's stories and I feel like in
the outpatient primary care setting one
of the few things that I really look at
is when it comes to substance use
disorder is the lives and we'll see okay
did they come up positive on this
particular drug
test and so I think a lot of people can
get really blinded and comes to
substance use disorder and they just
start labeling people as oh that was
dirty urine more likely their substance
use disorder addict or something along
those lines mm-hmm this hearing
individual stories about where do they
come from how this whole substance use
disorder issue started we can really
start to see inside that particular
person instead of thinking with an
individual's heading and start thinking
about through thinking through your
heart and really starting to think about
that particular person what they're
going through and they're not just a
positive result on a drug test um so
what has your favorites I shouldn't been
throughout this whole week or sessions
if you can't pick one so there was so
many good sessions just thinking about
addressing pain management locks on
sessions
opioid conversion to more of a
therapeutics type lecture but I really
like the expert debates there's two
professionals that were addressing
controversial topics in addiction and
recovery it was really good to hear the
both sides about whether or not we
should provide analog stone to
individuals whether or not we should be
providing needles to individuals whether
certain interventions help it's really
good to hear both sides and I think
that's what we should be doing as
pharmacist is not just listening to one
type of hearing both sides to make sure
that we are coming up with the most
effective treatment possible for our
patients
hi and what do you recommend for faculty
that want to come to the Institute in
the future or students I would say
definitely try your best to sign up we
appearing from all the other students
hearing from a lot of other faculty
members this last session at the end
people were opening up about everything
that they've learned from the Institute
it's been very eye
so I would strongly recommend this
conference to anyone doesn't have to be
a substance use disorder doesn't have to
be a psychiatric related specialty this
really does affect every aspect of
pharmacy and this opioid epidemic is
something that needs to change and I
think we can definitely make a
difference through pharmacy through
education help me to eradicate the
stigma I did this conference give you
hope for the future of breaking the
stigma more definitely that one I think
that's one of the best things that this
conference provided was was that hope
and I think that that there will be
changes in the future and so right now
yes we we are going through a lot of
trouble with the epidemic there are a
lot of deaths associated but I feel like
there is a lot and at the time we are
going through slow right now downwards
slow but eventually we will come out of
this and it starts with conferences like
this and it starts with education like
this that's one of the main reasons I
wanted to come to this conference I'm so
glad I did because it really did open my
eyes to the substance use disorder and
what the different means and methods we
can utilize in order to help these
individual patients okay well thank you
for joining us today dr. Daly Cruz Thank
You Fred mm-hmm and thank you pharmacy
leaders podcast again for allowing us to
have these episodes I'll talk to you
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