Pharmacists Play a Key Role in Promoting Multi-Modal Pain Management and Opioid Safety

On Saturday, July 30, USC School of Pharmacy will present “Pain Management and Opioid Safety-Continuing Education for Pharmacists,” a three-hour breakfast seminar that will address best practices for pharmacists in pain management and opioid safety amid the ongoing opioid epidemic.

With 78 Americans dying every day from opioid overdose, and so many others struggling with opioid addiction, pharmacists play a key role in preventing and identifying opioid misuse and abuse, including administering naloxone rescue.

“As front-line health care providers and drug therapy experts, pharmacists are frequently asked to recommend strategies for effective pain relief while avoiding opioid abuse and misuse,” says Julie Dopheide, USC School of Pharmacy professor and director of the School’s continuing professional development program. “This means every pharmacist should consider updating their knowledge on pain management, opioid abuse, strategies for opioid abuse recovery and methods to promote opioid safety.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more people died from drug overdoses in 2014 than in any year on record, and more than 60% of those drug overdose deaths involved prescription opioids—drugs like oxycodone (OxyContin), hydrocodone (Vicodin), morphine and methadone.

Prescription opioid pain relievers are a main factor in the dramatic increase of opioid abuse and overdose deaths. In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in the use of prescription opioids for the treatment of chronic pain, such as back pain or osteoarthritis, despite the serious risks of addiction, abuse and overdose.

Pharmacists will learn best practices for managing pain while promoting opioid safety.  Pain and substance abuse experts will cover the latest guidelines on addressing opioid addiction and on prescribing overdose-prevention measures such as naloxone.  Practical application of California’s Controlled Substance Utilization Review and Evaluation System (CURES) will be discussed as well as ethical and legal implications in pain management and opioid safety.

For more information and to sign up for this training, contact or 323-442-2403.