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A Primer on the Opioid Morbidity and Mortality Crisis: What Every Prescriber Should Know

Learning Objectives:
Upon completion of this educational activity, the physician will be able to:
1. Summarize opioid prescription trends over the past two decades;
2. Describe patient risk factors for opioid misuse and/or the likelihood of developing an opioid use disorder or addiction;
3. Distinguish the variables that increase the risk for patients to experience an unintentional overdose from prescription opioids;
4. Summarize the association between opioid misuse and heroin use or addiction;
5. Summarize areas of agreement and disagreement among various recent practice guidelines intended to promote safe opioid prescribing;
6. Review the basic approaches and actions to reduce opioid-related harm in patients with acute or chronic pain.
0.75 Credit CME

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This e-learning raises awareness about prescription opioid-related morbidity, opioid-related harm factors, and steps to promote the safe use of opioids. Topics include the burden of chronic pain, trends in prescribing, and the development of the “opioid epidemic.”

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Successful completion of this CME activity, which includes participation in the evaluation component, enables the participant to earn up to 0.75 Medical Knowledge MOC points in the American Board of Internal Medicine's (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. Participants will earn MOC points equivalent to the amount of CME credits claimed for the activity. It is the CME activity provider's responsibility to submit participant completion information to ACCME for the purpose of granting ABIM MOC credit.

Successful completion of this CME activity, which includes participation in the activity and individual assessment of and feedback to the learner, enables the learner to earn up to 0.75 MOC points in the American Board of Pediatrics' (ABP) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. It is the CME activity provider's responsibility to submit learner completion information to ACCME for the purpose of granting ABP MOC credit.

Activity Information

Designation Statement: The American Medical Association designates this enduring material for a maximum of .75 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Target Audience: This activity is designed to meet the educational needs of primary care and other physicians who prescribe opioid analgesics for acute and chronic pain. Nurse practitioners and physician assistants authorized to prescribe opioids, or who are involved with opioid prescribing, and pharmacists also may benefit from this module.

Statement of Competency: This activity is designed to address the following ABMS/ACGME competency; medical knowledge.

Accreditation Statement: The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Planning Committee:

Edward H. Livingston, MD, FACS, AGAF, Deputy Editor, Clinical Reviews and Education, JAMA, American Medical Association - AMA CME Program Committee

Barry Dickinson, PhD - Director, Science, Medicine and Public Health, AMA

Daniel Blaney-Koen, JD - Senior Legislative Attorney, Advocacy Resource Center, AMA

Andrea Garcia, JD, MPH - Principal Policy Analyst, Science Policy, AMA


Barry D. Dickinson, PhD - Director, Science, Medicine & Public Health, AMA (Author)

Robert Rich, MD - Medical Director, Community Care of the Lower Cape Fear, North Carolina (Content Reviewer)

Erin Krebs, MD, MPH - Women's Health Med Dir, Minneapolis VA Health Care System, Core Investigator, Minneapolis VA Center for Chronic Disease (Content Reviewer)

John Renner, MD - Vice Chair, Council on Addiction Psychiatry, American Psychiatric Association (Content Reviewer)

Frank Dowling, MD - Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry, SUNY (Content Reviewer)

Disclosure Statement: In order to assure the highest quality of certified CME programming, and to comply with the ACCME Standards for Commercial Support, the AMA requires that all faculty, planning committee and AMA CME Program Committee members disclose relevant financial relationships with any commercial or proprietary entity producing health care goods or services relevant to the content being planned or presented.

The following disclosures are provided:

Edward H. Livingston, MD (Nothing to disclose)

Barry Dickinson, PhD (Nothing to disclose)

Daniel Blaney-Koen, JD (Nothing to disclose)

Andrea Garcia, JD, MPH(Nothing to disclose)

Robert Rich, MD (Nothing to disclose)

Erin Krebs, MD, MPH (Nothing to disclose)

John Renner, MD (Nothing to disclose)

Frank Dowling, MD (Nothing to disclose)

Unless noted, all individuals in control of content have no relevant financial relationships.

Claiming Your CME Credit: In order to claim AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™, 1) view the module content in its entirety, 2) successfully complete the quiz answering 4 out of 5 questions correctly and 3) complete the evaluation.

Statement of Need: There is a need to educate physicians on trends in opioid prescribing, the magnitude of harm attributable to prescription opioids, risk factors for opioid misuse, overdose, and opioid addiction, and the intersection of opioid prescribing with the resurgence in heroin use, addiction, and overdose deaths. Secondarily, physicians need to be aware of developing regulatory, legislative, and private sector initiatives that are impacting their ability to apply individualized clinical decision-making for pan management and opioid prescribing.

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