Opioid Overdose & Naloxone
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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. In 2013,
about 16,000 deaths occurred from prescription opioid overdoses,
accounting for more than half of all prescription drug overdose
deaths. 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.
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
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...
Publication Date: 09/20/2015
Expiration Date: 09/20/2018
CE Credit: 1.5 (0.15 CEU)
Type of Activity: Knowledge-based
This program was developed by The Rx Consultant and published by Continuing Education Network, Inc.
The Rx Consultant accepts no advertising or financial support from the pharmaceutical industry and
is funded solely by the purchase of programs. The Rx Consultant is dedicated to providing unbiased,
balanced information to health care practitioners.
Programs developed by The Rx Consultant are written by health care providers with expertise in the topic
area, peer-reviewed, extensively edited, and fact-checked. This development process was created to insure
that every program presents information that is current, accurate, relevant to "real world" health care
providers, and written in an easy reading, "plain English" style.
Chris Stock, PharmD, BCPP is a clinical pharmacy
specialist and researcher at the George E Wahlen VA Medical
Center in Salt Lake City. He is also Adjunct Professor at
the University of Utah. He has specialized in treatment of
substance use disorders and related research. For the past
3 years, he has advocated within the VA and in the State of
Utah for expanded naloxone access and pharmacists’ involvement
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.
Dr. Chris Stock and 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.
This accredited program is targeted to
Goals & Objectives
At the conclusion of this program, participants will be able to:
- 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.
The Rx Consultant is a publication of Continuing Education Network, Inc.
Continuing Education Network, Inc. is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education as a
provider of continuing pharmacy education.
Continuing Education Network is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP 13118. Programs approved by CA BRN are accepted by most State Boards of Nursing.
ACPE Universal Activity Number: 0428-0000-15-009-H01-P
Exam & Credit Statement Procedures
Upon successful completion of this program and the post test (70%), 1.5 hours of continuing education credit will be awarded. To receive credit and your exam score, please complete the exam questions and
Editorial and Review Board
Chief Editor and CE Administrator
Terry M. Baker, PharmD
Tracy Farnen, PharmD
James Chan, PharmD, PhD
Pharmacy Quality and Outcomes Coordinator
Associate Clinical Professor
School of Pharmacy
University of California San Francisco
San Francisco, CA
Richard Ron Finley, B.S. Pharm.,R.Ph.
Clinical Pharmacist (volunteer faculty)
University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Memory and Aging Center
Lecturer (Emeritus) UCSF, Department of Clinical Pharmacy
Health Sciences Clinical Professor, UCSF School of Pharmacy
San Francisco, CA
Ray Dolby Brain Health Center, Sutter Health/CPMC
San Francisco, CA
Consult Pharmacist Aging and Adult Health Services
San Francisco Health Department
San Francisco, CA
Julio R. Lopez, PharmD, FCSHP
Chief of Pharmacy Service
VA Northern California Health Care System
Adjunct Clinical Professor
College of Pharmacy
Assistant Clinical Professor
School of Pharmacy
University of California, San Francisco
San Francisco, CA Adjunct Professor
Thomas J. Long School of Pharmacy
University of the Pacific
Visiting Associate Professor and Lecturer
Samuel Merritt University
Pamela Mausner, MD
Helen Berlie, Pharm.D. CDE, BCACP
Clinical Assistant Professor, Pharmacy Practice
Wayne State University
Ambulatory Care Specialist - Diabetes
Health Centers Detroit Medical Group
Senior Editorial Advisor
Gerard Hatheway, PharmD, PhD
Belinda M. Danielson, RPh
Christopher M. DeSoto, PharmD
Angie S. Graham, PharmD
Cynthia Chan Huang, PharmD, MBA
Fred Plageman, PharmD
Editorial Advisor and Clinical Practice Consultant for Nurse Practitioners
Meuleman, RN, C, MS
About the Rx Consultant
The Rx Consultant is a monthly publication dedicated to providing health care professionals with the information they need to
educate patients about drugs and manage drug therapy. The reader is responsible for confirming
the information presented here and interpreting it in relation to each patient's specific situation before utilizing the information.
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