Pain Management in an Opioid Epidemic: What’s Appropriate, What’s Safe

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Although accreditation for this CE/CME activity has expired, and the posttest is no longer available, you can still read the full article.

Expires March 31, 2019

Abuse of prescribed controlled substances—particularly opioid analgesics—and associated morbidity and mortality are a serious public health problem. The response to this crisis must include prevention, early identification, and appropriate treatment of addiction. Prescribing NPs and PAs must understand how to manage acute and chronic pain while also being attentive to signs of drug seeking and opioid misuse and abuse. The information and tools outlined in this article can equip providers to combat the opioid epidemic.



CE/CME No: CR-1804

Earn credit by reading this article and successfully completing the posttest and evaluation. Successful completion is defined as a cumulative score of at least 70% correct.

• Understand the basic pharmacology of opioid medications and how they affect pain.
• Apply a stepwise approach to pain management, based on the World Health Organization's "pain ladder."
• Communicate to patients the key educational points on the risks of opioid use.
• Identify strategies to deter or detect opioid misuse or abubse.

Deborah Salani is an Associate Professor of Clinical and Director of the Accelerated BSN Program, Nichole A. Crenshaw is an Assistant Professor of Clinical and Program Director for the Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner Program, Brenda Owusu is an Assistant Professor of Clinical and Program Director for the Adult Gerontology Primary Care Nurse Practitioner Program, and Juan M. Gonzalez is an Assistant Professor of Clinical and Program Director for the Family Nurse Practitioner Program, at the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies in Coral Gables, Florida.

The authors have no financial relationships to disclose.


This program has been reviewed and is approved for a maximum of 1.0 hour of American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) Category 1 CME credit by the Physician Assistant Review Panel. [NPs: Both ANCC and the AANP Certification Program recognize AAPA as an approved provider of Category 1 credit.] Approval is valid through March 31, 2019.

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