Multidisciplinary Faculty to Present Course on Overdose Education

A popular online program designed to provide prescribers and pharmacists with a better understanding of overdose education and how to use naloxone rescue kits will be presented live in a one-hour course Friday.

“Prescribe to Prevent: Overdose Prevention and Naloxone Rescue for Prescribers and Pharmacists” will be presented from 2 to 3 pm in Governor’s Ballroom E, Fourth Floor. It will feature a multidisciplinary faculty that includes an addiction medicine physician, a pharmacist, and an attorney.

“There is an overdose crisis, so, clearly, access to opioid treatment is really important,” said the session organizer, Alexander Y. Walley, MD, MSc. “There are many people who die of overdose before they have the opportunity to access treatment. Naloxone rescue kits and overdose prevention education are two things that, as addiction experts, we can use to keep people alive long enough to benefit from treatment.”

The session will explain key aspects of overdose prevention education, how to discuss prevention with patients, and how to prescribe naloxone rescue kits, said Dr. Walley, an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine.

He will be joined by presenters Jeffrey P. Bratberg, PharmD, BCPS, a Clinical Professor at the University of Rhode Island, Kingston, and Corey Davis, JD, MSPH, a Staff Attorney at the National Health Law Program, Carrboro, North Carolina.

“Jeffrey Bratberg is going to focus on the issues of the physician-pharmacist team as a way to prevent overdoses and as a way to treat people safely with medication for their addiction and other conditions,” Dr. Walley said. “Corey Davis will talk about the legal issues around prescribing naloxone rescue kits. He is a national health law expert who has focused on how to use public health law to reduce overdoses.”

The course also will feature a 10-minute video showing case scenarios as examples of how to incorporate overdose education and naloxone distribution into a medical practice. The online CME course was funded by the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration, and it includes a three-minute demonstration video available at prescribetoprevent.org.

“As addiction medicine experts, we need to take overdose seriously and educate our patients on how to prevent it regardless of where they are in their stage of readiness,” Dr. Walley said. “We need to be leaders in our communities in reducing overdose risk, which includes prescribing overdose kits.”

ASAM updated its “Public Policy Statement on the Use of Naloxone for the Prevention of Drug Overdose Deaths” in 2014 to recommend the employment of “co-prescription” programs and that all addiction treatment agencies have on-site supplies of naloxone for “rescue” dosing. Learn more about the updated policy in ASAM Magazine.