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Opioid Safe Use and Management icon

Opioids: Safe Use and Management

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Learning Objectives

  • Describe the scope of non-medical use of opioids, overdose, and opioid use disorder in the United States
  • Provide safe and effective pain management for patients
  • Perform appropriate opioid prescribing activities (patient agreements, urine toxicology screening, pill counts)
  • Differentiate between addiction, dependence, tolerance, and pseudo-addiction
  • Use Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMP) appropriately
  • Manage challenging patient encounters related to pain and opioid prescribing by focusing on goals rather than pain eradication
  • Understand side-effects of opioids, including analgesic tolerance, nausea, and respiratory depression
  • Prescribe naloxone effectively

Course Description

This course covers guidelines for the safe and effective prescribing of opioids to assist healthcare providers in delivering compassionate, evidence-based, responsible care while improving the quality and safety of patient pain management.

Did You Know...

  • According to the CDC, about 20% of patients presenting to physicians with pain-related diagnoses (not including cancer) receive an opioid prescription
  • In 2012, healthcare providers wrote 259 million prescriptions for opioid pain medication
  • From 1999 to 2014, more than 165,000 persons died from overdose related to opioid pain medication in the US

Course at a Glance

target audience icon Target Audience:

Providers tasked with prescribing opioids

time to complete icon Average Completion Time:

20–30 Minutes

contributor icon Co-development Partner:

Massachusetts General Hospital, Mass General Brigham

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