Fatal drug overdoses, due to both illicit and prescription drug use, have become epidemic in the United States (US). The rate exceeds that of deaths from motor vehicle accidents, largely due to the increase in prescription opioid overdoses.1 In 2013, about 16,000 deaths occurred from prescription opioid overdoses, accounting for more than half of all prescription drug overdose deaths.2 Multiple substances (eg, alcohol, benzodiazepines, and other sedating drugs) often contribute to these overdose deaths. Many opioid overdoses occur in patients with legitimate opioid prescriptions who have identifiable risk factors (see Table 1). This issue provides historical background about the opioid overdose epidemic, followed by information about naloxone – a mu opioid receptor antagonist that is indicated for the treatment of respiratory and/or central nervous system (CNS) depression due to opioid overdose. The information includes a discussion of emerging Opioid Education and Naloxone Distribution (OEND) programs, which enable pharmacists to identify overdose risks; educate prescribers, patients, and family members or caregivers about overdose risks; and dispense, distribute, or even prescribe naloxone kits for bystander administration in the event of an opioid overdose. Community practitioners, including pharmacists, are in an opportune position to identify at-risk patients, remind prescribers about individual patient's risks, provide OEND to patients and their family members, friends, and caregivers;and, potentially, reduce deaths associated with opioid medications.
- Pharmacists, Nurse Practitioners, Clinical Nurse Specialists, and Registered Nurses
This CE activity was developed by The Rx Consultant, a publication of Continuing Education Network, Inc.
CE activities for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians:
This continuing education (CE) activity meets the requirements of all state boards of pharmacy for approved continuing education hours. CE credit is automatically reported to CPE Monitor.
CE activities for Nurse Practitioners and Clinical Nurse Specialists:
This continuing education activity meets the requirements of:
The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) for formally approved continuing education (CE) hours, and CE hours of pharmacotherapeutics.
The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP) for acceptable, accredited CE.
This is a pharmacotherapeutics/pharmacology CE activity.
Continuing Education Network, Inc. is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education.
Requirements for CE Credit
CE No Longer Valid
To receive CE credit, the participant must read the monograph in its entirety, complete the online post-test and receive a score of 70% or greater, and complete the online evaluation.
Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians -
Be sure your profile has been updated with your NAPB e-profile # and birth date information BEFORE completing the online evaluation, or your credits cannot be reported to CPE Monitor.
Continuing pharmacy education credit is automatically reported to CPE Monitor once the post-test & evaluation are successfully completed.
- Describe how increased opioid prescribing has led to an epidemic of overdose deaths. Discuss steps that are being taken to confront this epidemic, including Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution (OEND).
- Describe the indications, contraindications, routes of administration, doses, and adverse effects of naloxone.
- Identify individuals at increased risk for opioid overdose. Teach patients and their family members/friends how to recognize and respond to an opioid overdose, and how to administer naloxone.
Melissa Joy Brewster, PharmD, BCPS
Brief Bio : Melissa Joy Brewster, PharmD, BCPS is a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist in Mental Health at the George E Wahlen VA Medical Center in Salt Lake City, UT.
Disclosure : Dr. Melissa Brewster report no financial or personal relationship with any commercial interest producing, marketing, reselling, or distributing a product or service that appears in this issue.
Chris Stock, PharmD, BCPP
Disclosure : Dr. Chris Stock report no financial or personal relationship with any commercial interest producing, marketing, reselling, or distributing a product or service that appears in this issue.
Release Date: Sep 20, 2015
Credit Expiration Date: Sep 20, 2018