In 2018, nearly 70% of overdose deaths in the US involved opioids. Between 1999 and 2018, nearly 450,000 people have died from overdoses of both prescription and illicit opioids, including heroin, methadone, and fentanyl.
While there has been some indication that overdose deaths decreased slightly between 2017 and 2018, fatality rates remain four times as high as they did in 1999.
The opioid epidemic has become a serious concern for organizations like the CDC and healthcare professionals nationwide. In recent years, there has been a lot of movement to increase education in addiction prevention and recovery and the application of naloxone to reverse overdoses.
Pharmacists interested in opioid addiction recovery can now further their education with a free course available through the University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy (UT Austin). From Survival to Recovery in Opioid Use Disorder covers the recent opioid epidemic and best practices for overdose prevention and treatment.
Combating Opioid Overdose With Online Course
From Survival to Recovery in Opioid Use Disorder is a continuing education course for pharmacists (CPE), accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education. The 2.5-hour course will be offered online free of charge to healthcare professionals through at least the 2021 spring semester.
Course material includes:
- Current state of the opioid epidemic nationwide
- Opioid overdose prevention best practices
- FDA-approved medications for opioid use
- Introduction to naloxone
- Proper naloxone usage and dispensing
- Controversy and ethics in the treatment of opioid use disorder
Interested students and healthcare professionals can access materials, including pre and post-source evaluations and video content, by registering online.
From Survival to Recovery in Opioid Use Disorder is part of a larger Opioid Training Initiative course, meant to help healthcare professionals identify and treat opioid use disorder (OUD). The 6-module course covers harm reduction best practices, opioid stewardship programming, pain management, and OUD treatment and is worth 6 contact hours of CE credit.
Part of UT Austin’s Pharmacy Addictions Research and Medicine (PhARM) program, the Opioid Training Initiative is funded by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. It’s a collaborative effort between UT Austin’s College of Pharmacy, the Steve Hicks School of Social Work, and the Texas Overdose Naloxone Initiative.
Each course module has been made available at no cost to students and healthcare professionals. It’s intended to offer continuing education in addiction recovery for pharmacists, physicians/psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, psychologists, and licensed counselors.