Of the 20.5 million Americans 12 or older that had a substance use disorder in 2015, 2 million had a substance use disorder involving prescription pain relievers and 591,000 had a substance use disorder involving heroin. In 2015, 20,101 overdose deaths related to prescription pain relievers, and 12,990 overdose deaths related to heroin. In October 2017, President Trump declared the opioid epidemic a national public health emergency.
Physicians find themselves at the epicenter of this storm, buffeted on one side by public opinion and policy, and thrown about on the other side by their patients’ needs and desires. This course explores:
- Assessing pain and establishing patient expectations
- Proper medication choice, dosing, and titration
- Opioid tolerance, dependence, pseudoaddiction, and addiction
- Complex patient presentations (benzodiazepines, methadone, naloxone, suboxone)
- National opioid prescribing guidelines and legal considerations (PDMPs, diversion, state prescribing limitations)