Management of Addiction, Withdrawal, and Overdose

Opioid addiction and overdose is a widespread epidemic throughout the United States. Nurses and healthcare professionals have a duty to both understand the problem and provide compassionate care to affected individuals and families. The nurse has a unique role in which they provide medical and supportive care and social and emotional support.  Nurses should be able to educate patients who are given opioids in both the inpatient and outpatient settings regarding their risks for side effects, dependence, and addiction. This course is beneficial for all nurses who care for the general population, particularly populations at risk for opioid misuse, addiction, and overdose.  The course reviews common terminology, the basic pharmacology of opioids, the roots of the opioid epidemic, the theory of prevention model, and the unique points of potential intervention to help nurses prevent, identify, and treat opioid addiction. 

Learning Objectives

  • Demonstrate an understanding of substance misuse, substance use disorder, and opioid use disorder.
  • Differentiate between opioid tolerance, dependence, and addiction.
  • Examine the effects of opioid overdose and how to assess for opioid withdrawal.
  • Apply the risk factors for opiate addiction and overdose to common patient populations.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the basic pharmacological characteristics of opioids and the difference between opioid agonists, partial agonists, and antagonists.
  • Choose overdose, withdrawal, and addiction treatments as well as patient counseling tips for overdose risk and response.
  • Analyze the roots of the opioid epidemic.
  • Illustrate the role of the Registered Nurse in promoting the levels of prevention model as it applies to opioid addiction.

Additional Information

Elite Healthcare
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 4.00 AANP Contact Hours
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Katie Blair, PharmD, RPh

Katie Blair, PharmD, RPh, is a pharmacist and freelance writer specializing in pharmacy education. She works as a consultant pharmacist in Vancouver, Washington, serving long-term care facilities in the area. Dr. Blair also has over six years of experience working as a staff pharmacist at a community pharmacy in Seattle. She graduated from Northeastern University in Boston in 2009 with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree. Dr. Blair has done freelance work writing and revising continuing education programs for pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and nurses, as well as writing practice questions for various pharmacy technician exams.

Available Credit

  • 4.00 AANP Contact Hours


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This course is offered through Elite Healthcare.

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