The Opioid Epidemic: Pharmacists' Role and Steps to Stewardship

Slidell, LA US
May 7, 2020

The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that more than 2 million Americans abuse opioids and that more than 90 Americans die by opioid overdose every day, on average. These mortality rates from fatal overdoses exceed the rates of deaths from motor vehicle accidents. Younger age, having a history of prescription diversion or drug substitution, doctor or pharmacy shopping, having a history of psychiatric conditions, or use of psychotropic medications are major risk factors for misuse and abuse. However, anyone who takes opioids is at risk of developing addiction, even after one dose. Healthcare provider opioid-prescribing patterns (e.g., higher daily dosage of opioids) further increase patients’ risk for abuse, addiction, and overdose. Opioid stewardship programs are coordinated programs that promote appropriate use of opioid medications, improve patient outcomes, and reduce misuse of opioids. These programs are continuing to be implemented in hospitals all across the US, with pharmacists as a lead role. By being integral members of care teams in acute-care settings, pharmacists are well positioned to manage medications; educate providers, patients, and their families on appropriate use of opioids; and decrease diversion. Slidell Memorial Hospital (SMH) does not currently have an opioid stewardship program. This presentation should give pharmacists a baseline knowledge of their roles and activities, if a program is ever to be implemented at SMH. The evidence will be applied to patient cases to assess learning.

Target Audience

  • Pharmacists
  • Pharmacy technicians

Learning Objectives

Pharmacist learning objectives

  1. Calculate Total Daily Dose of opioids using Morphine Equivalent Dosing
  2. Recognize the risk and harms of acute and chronic opioid use
  3. Identify current laws and regulations implemented in the U.S. surrounding combat of the Opioid Crisis
  4. Examine proper opioid selection, dosage, duration, monitoring, discontinuation and follow up
  5. Justify pharmacists’ role in implementation and management of Opioid Stewardship Programs

Pharmacy technician learning objectives

  1. Identify brand and generic names of commonly prescribed opioids
  2. Calculate Total Daily Dose of opioids using Morphine Equivalent Dosing
  3. Recognize the risk and harms of acute and chronic opioid use
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 ACPE Pharmacist
  • 1.00 ACPE Pharmacy Technician
  • 1.00 General CEU – Attendance
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Event starts: 
05/07/2020 - 4:00pm CDT
Event ends: 
05/07/2020 - 5:00pm CDT
Slidell Memorial Hospital
1001 Gause Blvd.
Slidell, LA 70458
United States
Relevant financial relationships: Planning committee members and presenters have nothing to disclose
Planning committee members
India Scales, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist/PGY1 Preceptor
Slidell Memorial Hospital
Kisha Gant, PharmD, BCPS, BCGP, BCCP
Director of Pharmacy/PGY1 Residency Director
Slidell Memorial Hospital
Course reviewer
Katrina K. Harper, PharmD, MBA, BCPS, BCSCP
Clinical Pharmacy Director, Sourcing Operations
Center for Pharmacy Practice Excellence
Sierra Meyers, PharmD
PGY1 Pharmacy Resident
Slidell Memorial Hospital
Joint Accreditation Statement:
In support of improving patient care, this activity has been planned and implemented by Vizient, Inc. and Slidell Memorial Hospital.  Vizient, Inc. 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.
Designation Statements:
Vizient, Inc. designates this activity for a maximum of 1.00 ACPE credit hours.
Universal Activity Number: JA0006103-9999-20-085-L01-P
Universal Activity Number: JA0006103-9999-20-085-L01-T
Vizient, Inc. will award CEUs to each participant who successfully completes this program. The CEU is a nationally recognized unit of measure for continuing education and training programs that meet certain criteria (1 contact hour = 0.1 CEU).

Available Credit

  • 1.00 ACPE Pharmacist
  • 1.00 ACPE Pharmacy Technician
  • 1.00 General CEU – Attendance


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