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Opioids Clinical Primer

This program provides an overview of key concepts and skills for clinicians facing common challenges in the management of patients with chronic pain, including reducing the risks of opioids and addressing opioid use disorder.

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Opioid Use Disorder in Primary Care: Principles of Assessment and Management
Review the role of opioids in the brain and the signs and symptoms of withdrawal. Learn how to identify patients with opioid use disorder and outline the management options for opioid use disorder including the role of opioid agonist therapy with buprenorphine. Educate patients on strategies to prevent opioid overdose including the use of naloxone, a vital tool for overdose prevention.
Managing Patients with Opioid Use Disorder in Primary Care with Buprenorphine
Using case studies, learn how to identify patients who would benefit from buprenorphine treatment in a primary care setting. Understand how to manage buprenorphine prescriptions, including; dose adjustments, side effect management, monitoring, observed versus take-home dosing, the role of urine drug testing. Learn about the importance of co-morbid mood and anxiety disorders with respect to relapse prevention and the importance of trauma histories in relation to opioid use disorder.

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Safer Opioid Prescribing Strategies

Understand your role in minimizing opioid-related harms through patient education and safe prescribing and dispensing practices. Learn how to assess patients on opioids for adverse effects, and when and how to taper and switch opioids. Select patients who are likely to benefit from opioids and are at a lower risk of harm.

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Mental Health, Chronic Pain, and Substance Use: Addressing the Connections

Understand how mental health conditions such as mood disorders, anxiety disorders and a history of trauma may contribute to and complicate the management of chronic non-cancer pain (CNCP) and substance use disorders. Explore how to use brief interventions and referral for treatment for patients with these overlapping conditions. Consider ways to incorporate trauma informed care into practice.

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Strategies for Managing Chronic Pain: Moving Beyond Opioids

Learn to educate and motivate patients to use non-pharmacologic strategies for pain self-management. Explore how to optimize non-opioid medications for the management of chronic non-cancer pain (CNCP). Strengthen communication skills in order to develop collaborative relationships with patients. Discover what resources are available for primary care providers to help manage chronic pain in their patient population.

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Treating Opioid Use Disorder: Initiating Buprenorphine in Primary Care, ED and Inpatient Settings

Identify patients with opioid use disorder in primary care, ED and inpatient settings. Learn how to initiate treatment with buprenorphine in these different clinical environments. Recognize the importance of dispensing naloxone for overdose prevention. Understand the role of Rapid Access Addiction Medicine clinics in the care of people with substance use disorders.

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This program is part of Ontario Pain Management Resources: A Partnership to Help Clinicians Support their Patients coordinated by Health Quality Ontario. Learn more at