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By Bethany DiPaula, PharmD, BCPP-Chair, Substance Use Disorders Steering Council

One only has to read the news for daily reports on the opioid use disorder (OUD) epidemic facing our country. CPNP members feel the impact daily as they work to help treat individuals living with substance use disorder.

CPNP’s Most Recent Activities

Members have spoken, and we have listened. For the past year, CPNP and its volunteer Substance Use Disorders Council has ramped up efforts to provide information, education and resources on substance use disorders. These resources include:

  1. A dedicated substance use disorders track at each CPNP Annual Meeting as well as a 2018 pre-meeting workshop on the pharmacist’s role in Medication-Assisted Treatment. At the 2019 Annual Meeting, there will be programming on Cannabis: Data on Efficacy and Toxicity in Psychiatric and Neurologic Disorders, Emerging Treatment Approaches for Opioid Use Disorder (OUD), and The Epidemic of Stimulant Use Disorders.
  2. Toolkits and resources for the pharmacist in the following areas:
  1. Events, discussions, and webinars offered on a peer-to-peer basis through The Substance Use Disorders Strategies Community.  Past topics include:  

Pharmacist Opioid Use Disorder Training Coming Next

Expanded workforce is necessary to manage patients with OUD. Filling a practice and workforce gap, CPNP is committing resources to the development of a comprehensive OUD training program. This initiative will involve the development of 20 to 25 hours of recorded educational programming on OUD and treatment. Participants can complete all or some of the provided modules. Upon completion of the entire training program, the pharmacist should be able to:

  1. Identify individuals at risk for opioid overdose and develop an appropriate treatment plan
  2. Screen and refer patients with opioid use disorder for treatment
  3. Develop an evidence-based treatment plan for medication-assisted treatment
  4. Describe and implement harm reduction strategies for patients with opioid use disorder
  5. Assess, initiate, and modify opioid use disorder treatment planning using evidence-based recommendations
  6. Discuss the psychiatric and medical co-morbidities associated with opioid use disorder
  7. Apply regulatory and best practices to optimize care and safety when caring for patients with opioid use disorder

Planning for a late 2019 or early 2020 launch, the curriculum is expected to include the following modules:


Core Topics

  1. Background
  1. Regulatory and Confidentiality
  1. Screening and Referral
  1. Diversion
  1. Management of Overdose
  1. Maintenance Treatment of OUD, Levels of Care, Types of Services
  1. Pain
  1. Comorbid Disorders
  1. Special Populations: Neonatal, Pregnancy, Lactation, Pediatrics, Geriatrics
  1. Harm Reduction
  1. Urine Drug Testing

Practice Based Topics

  1. Setting up a Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Practice
  1. Inpatient Management: Regulatory, Detoxification, Starting Treatment in the Emergency Department—Acute Care Management
  1. Special considerations for the Incarcerated Patient
  1. Healthcare Providers in Recovery
  1. Setting up an OUD Practice in the Community or Retail Pharmacy Setting


CPNP thanks Alkermes for its partial grant support and members of its Substance Use Disorders Council who have and will continue to contribute numerous hours of time to the development of this curriculum.

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