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Course # 91411 • Prescription Opioids: Risk Management and Strategies for Safe Use


This course will extensively cover the various approaches recommended or mandated for use by clinicians who prescribe opioids, in order to reduce risk and improve outcomes. The goal of this course is provide clinicians with an understanding of the essential components of appropriate opioid prescribing. This objective will be achieved through discussion of behavioral responses in patients receiving opioids for pain; the antecedents, catalysts, manifestations, and consequences of the dramatic and widespread increase in clinical and illicit use of prescription opioids; the assessment and management of pain patient risk of developing problems with their prescribed opioid analgesic; governmental, law enforcement, and industry strategies and tactics to reduce prescription opioid abuse; and treatment approaches for patients with comorbid chronic pain and substance use disorders. Among primary care providers, considerable evidence has found widespread misunderstanding of opioid and other substance abuse and addiction and confusion in distinguishing physiological tolerance and dependence and uncontrolled pain behaviors from symptoms of opioid use disorder.

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Education Category: Management

Release Date: 09/01/2017

Expiration Date: 08/31/2020


This course is designed for physicians, nurses, and physician assistants involved in the care of patients prescribed opioids to treat pain.


In support of improving patient care, NetCE is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team. NetCE is accredited by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). NetCE complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard, which is recognized internationally as a standard of excellence in instructional practices. As a result of this accreditation, NetCE is authorized to issue the IACET CEU.

Designations of Credit

This activity was planned by and for the healthcare team, and learners will receive 15 Interprofessional Continuing Education (IPCE) credit(s) for learning and change. NetCE designates this enduring material for a maximum of 15 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. NetCE designates this continuing education activity for 15 ANCC contact hour(s). NetCE designates this continuing education activity for 15 pharmacotherapeutic/pharmacology contact hour(s). NetCE designates this continuing education activity for 18 hours for Alabama nurses. Successful completion of this CME activity, which includes participation in the evaluation component, enables the participant to earn up to 15 MOC points in the American Board of Internal Medicine's (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. Participants will earn MOC points equivalent to the amount of CME credits claimed for the activity. It is the CME activity provider's responsibility to submit participant completion information to ACCME for the purpose of granting ABIM MOC credit. Completion of this course constitutes permission to share the completion data with ACCME. AACN Synergy CERP Category A. NetCE is authorized by IACET to offer 1.5 CEU(s) for this program.

Individual State Nursing Approvals

In addition to states that accept ANCC, NetCE is approved as a provider of continuing education in nursing by: Alabama, Provider #ABNP0353, (valid through November 21, 2021); Arkansas, Provider #50-2405; California, BRN Provider #CEP9784; California, LVN Provider #V10662; California, PT Provider #V10842; District of Columbia, Provider #50-2405; Florida, Provider #50-2405; Georgia, Provider #50-2405; Kentucky, Provider #7-0054 through 12/31/2021; South Carolina, Provider #50-2405. South Carolina, Provider #50-2405; West Virginia RN and APRN, Provider #50-2405.

Special Approvals

This course fulfills 15 hours of pain management education for California-licensed physicians who must complete 12 hours of pain management and the appropriate care and treatment of the terminally ill. This course meets 6 of the 7 hours of continuing education in pain management as required by the State of Oregon. This course meets the New Mexico requirement for 5 hours of pain management education. This course meets the Pennsylvania requirement for 12 hours of patient safety/risk management education. This course has been approved by the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure to fulfill the requirement for 4.5 hours of continuing medical education relating to pain management and addiction disorders, as required by HB 1 of the Kentucky General Assembly. Course approval #1114-H4.5-NET1. This course meets the Massachusetts requirement for 10 hours of risk management education. This course meets the Connecticut requirement for 1 hour of risk management education. This course meets the Massachusetts requirement for 3 hours of pain management education. This course fulfills the Nevada requirement for 2 hours of medical ethics education. This course meets the requirement for 2 hours of continuing education credit in medical ethics/professional responsibility as required by the Texas Medical Board. This activity is designed to comply with the requirements of California Assembly Bill 1195, Cultural and Linguistic Competency.

Course Objective

The purpose of this course is to provide the information necessary for clinicians to make informed decisions regarding prescribed opioids in order to minimize adverse events, substance abuse, and drug diversion.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, you should be able to:

  1. Define terms associated with opioid therapy and aberrant drug use.
  2. Analyze behavioral responses to prescribed opioids and signs of emerging opioid misuse.
  3. Outline the impact of clinical and professional society attitudes toward opioid prescribing.
  4. Review the role of OxyContin in the rise of prescribed opioids for chronic noncancer pain.
  5. Evaluate the basic epidemiology of prescription opioid use, misuse, and dependence in the United States.
  6. Identify factors that influence opioid prescribing decisions.
  7. Describe the morbidity and mortality associated with the use of prescription opioids.
  8. Discuss characteristics of appropriate and inappropriate opioid prescribing and contributory factors to both.
  9. Compare opioid abuse risk assessment tools and the utility of risk stratification.
  10. Outline the appropriate periodic review and monitoring of patients prescribed opioid analgesics, including the role of urine drug testing.
  11. Describe necessary components of patient/caregiver education for prescribed opioid analgesics, including guidance on the safe use and disposal of medications.
  12. Compare available opioid abuse-deterrent formulations.
  13. Evaluate government and industry efforts to address problems arising from prescription opioid analgesic misuse.
  14. Review the unintended negative consequences of efforts to reduce prescribed opioid analgesic misuse, diversion, and overdose.
  15. Discuss treatment considerations for patients with active or remitted substance use disorder who require prescribed opioid analgesics for chronic pain.


Mark Rose, BS, MA, is a licensed psychologist and researcher in the field of alcoholism and drug addiction based in Minnesota. He has written or contributed to the authorship of numerous papers on addiction and other medical disorders and has written books on prescription opioids and alcoholism published by the Hazelden Foundation. He also serves as an Expert Advisor and Expert Witness to various law firms on matters related to substance abuse, is on the Board of Directors of the Minneapolis-based International Institute of Anti-Aging Medicine, and is a member of several professional organizations.

Faculty Disclosure

Contributing faculty, Mark Rose, BS, MA, has disclosed no relevant financial relationship with any product manufacturer or service provider mentioned.

Division Planners

Ronald Runciman, MD

Jane C. Norman, RN, MSN, CNE, PhD

Division Planners Disclosure

The division planners have disclosed no relevant financial relationship with any product manufacturer or service provider mentioned.

About the Sponsor

The purpose of NetCE is to provide challenging curricula to assist healthcare professionals to raise their levels of expertise while fulfilling their continuing education requirements, thereby improving the quality of healthcare.

Our contributing faculty members have taken care to ensure that the information and recommendations are accurate and compatible with the standards generally accepted at the time of publication. The publisher disclaims any liability, loss or damage incurred as a consequence, directly or indirectly, of the use and application of any of the contents. Participants are cautioned about the potential risk of using limited knowledge when integrating new techniques into practice.

Disclosure Statement

It is the policy of NetCE not to accept commercial support. Furthermore, commercial interests are prohibited from distributing or providing access to this activity to learners.

Technical Requirements

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