Nearly 100 million people in the United States, or roughly one-third of the population, experience some form of chronic pain. Meanwhile, prescription opiate abuse and addiction have reached epidemic proportions in the United States, including the widespread illegal diversion of prescription opioids for street use, which in turn can increase the rates of abuse of illegal narcotics. Some clinicians have also prescribed opioids without adequate training surrounding their abuse potential. Many primary-care providers have recently become reluctant to prescribe opioid pain relievers in the context of current public health concerns surrounding addiction, which leads to some chronic pain patients now going without any appropriate treatment.
CME has been proven to be a critical in educating physicians about the inherent risks in prescribing opioid medications. Over the course of 39 systematic reviews published between 1977 and 2014, the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) has concluded that CME courses “can more reliably change health professionals’ knowledge and competence than their performance and patient health outcomes.” This video, produced by CME Coalition member Academy for Continued Healthcare Learning (ACHL), provides a sample of a CME activity intended to educate physicians, pharmacists, and other allied-health personnel on the latest guidelines surrounding prescription opioids as well as the latest epidemiological data surrounding addiction management and treatment.