Opiates: How nurses can help curb the epidemic

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Contact Hours Awarded: 1

Author: Shane Slone, APRN, DNP, AGACNP-BC, RN

130 Americans die every day due to opiate overdoses. These occur from both illicit and prescribed users of opiates. In recent years the opiate epidemic has become a mainstream health issue, and was brought to center stage when the President of the United States declared the opiate crisis a  public health emergency.

The current crisis is a combination of both licit and prescribed users, but the root of the issue remains an ease-of-access for opiate drugs and synthetics. Nurses can play a pivotal role in curbing the epidemic by being knowledgeable about opiate use disorders, the risks of opiates, and alternatives for pain control. Nurses can use the knowledge in this course help change the course of patients and reduce the risk of opiates.

Course outline:

  1. What are opiates?
  2. Preventing abuse, misuse, and harm
  3. Appropriate prescribing
  4. Risk factors for opiate harm or misuse
  5. Signs of abuse, diversion, and addiction
  6. Opiate alternatives
  7. Conclusion
  8. References / bibliography

Accreditation statement:

Nursing CE Central is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

In this course we will discuss organ donation. It will take the average learner 60 minutes to complete.

After completing this course, the learner will be able to:

  1. Discuss the historical and modern implications of opiate use
  2. Describe the non-opiate alternatives patients may use to treat acute and chronic pain
  3. Understand how to recognize Opiate Use Disorder and what to do with patients who are high risk
  4. Identify patients who are high risk for opiate abuse, misuse, and harm

Target audience:

Registered Nurses (RN)

Licensed Practical / Vocational Nurses (LVN/LPN)

Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN)

Requirement for completion:

1.) Enrollment in the course by the learner

2.) Read and learn all course materials

3.) Complete the course evaluation

4.) Attest and testify learning of the course materials

Course offering:

# 25

Accreditations and approvals:

ANCC (Provider# P0614)
California BRN (Provider# 17418)
Kentucky Board of Nursing (Provider# 7-0090)

Course expiration date:

August 1, 2023

Conflict of interest statement:

Nursing CE Central nor any of the authors, planners, content experts or any contributors have a commercial interest nor were influenced by commercial interests in the creation of this course, financially or otherwise.