Understanding Opioid Addiction and Dependence

Pharmacy Times Office of Continuing Professional Education

Understanding Opioid Addiction and Dependence: Therapeutic Options to Improve Patient Care

Bethany DiPaula, PharmD, BCPP

Assistant Professor, University of Maryland School of Pharmacy

Director of Pharmacy, Springfield Hospital Center, Sykesville, Maryland

Pharmacists can play an important role in the management of opioid-dependence, as they are one of the most easily accessible healthcare professionals that will interact frequently with patients suffering from opioid-dependence or initiating treatment for it. As medication experts, they can play an important role in ensuring that patients use their medication properly, monitor for drug-drug interactions, counsel patients, and work with physicians to minimize the potential for abuse and misuse. This activity will focus on the prevalence of opioid-dependence, its impact, available treatments, and the role of the pharmacist as part of the multidisciplinary team involved in managing opioid-dependent patients.

Educational Objectives

Upon completion of this educational activity, participants should be able to:

  • Describe the clinical, humanistic, and economic, burden associated with opioid-dependence
  • Examine current strategies that have been developed to manage opioid-dependence
  • Identify legislative mandates and practice pattern recommendations that have been developed in an effort to curtail the abuse and misuse potential of opioids
  • Discuss the role of pharmacists in office-based opioid-dependence management

Credits: 2.0

Expiration date: July 11, 2013

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