It is an unfortunate reality that many physicians feel a combination of apprehension, worry, uncertainty and frustration when dealing with patients on opioids, especially those who appear to be struggling with their opioid use. Many of us received little formal training in dealing with chronic pain, let alone addictions. We may be afraid of the complexity involved in managing patients with substance use issues. If we are honest, we might also acknowledge biases towards people with substance use issues.
The Opioids Clinical Primer was developed to meet the need for accessible education to help clinicians deal with typical challenges in the management of chronic pain, reducing the harms of opioids, and opioid use disorder. The newest course, “Initiating Buprenorphine in Primary Care, ED and Inpatient Settings” completes the program, and is intended to help clinicians across specialties and in different clinical environments identify patients who might benefit from treatment of opioid use disorder. With the increase in patients taking buprenorphine, understanding how to adjust doses and manage acute pain is becoming increasingly important. And for clinicians who aren’t currently treating opioid use disorder, being able to discuss options, offer support and assist patients with accessing resources is a huge step towards decreasing stigma and barriers to care.
Join over 1,000 clinicians from across Ontario who have taken these free, accredited courses over the past year. Consider exploring both streams, “Managing Opioid Use Disorder” and “Managing Chronic Pain”, as they both offer valuable evidence-based information that has been extensively reviewed by medical experts as well as community practitioners “on the ground”.