Registration Options

Activity Date: 04/19/2021

Target Audience

This course is designed for pharmacists, nurse practitioners or other health care professionals involved in the comprehensive medication management of psychiatric and/or neurological patients.

Session Summary

In the United States in 2018, nearly 70% of the 67,367 overdose deaths involved an opioid. While prescription opioid and heroin involved death rates decreased from 2017 to 2018, synthetic opioid involved death rates (not including methadone) increased by 10%1. The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines harm reduction as “a treatment and prevention approach that encompasses individual and public health needs, aiming to decrease the health and socioeconomic costs and consequences of addiction-related problems, especially medical complications and transmission of infectious diseases, without necessarily requiring abstinence2.” Harm reduction strategies are key to addressing this public health crisis. The philosophy of harm reduction does not endorse drug use, but accepts drug use as a reality and focuses on reducing its harmful consequences including death, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis C, criminal activity, and incarceration3. Harm reduction strategies include those such as opioid overdose education and naloxone kit distribution, fentanyl test strip distribution, syringe exchange programs, HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), and Good Samaritan/liability laws. Barriers to implementing harm reduction strategies are sometimes fear of harm to staff/self, increased crime, and misunderstandings regarding potential legal/ethical ramifications. After implementation of syringe exchange programs in community pharmacies, New York pharmacists were surveyed and found to have very few reported increases in crime or disruptive behavior4. Another study also found that lack of knowledge about laws governing harm reduction strategies appeared to be the problem instead of the actual laws themselves5. Psychiatric pharmacists working with patients with substance use disorders, often with co-occurring mental illness, are in a key position to assess current substance use, implement harm reduction strategies, and refer patients to appropriate resources. This session is designed to provide education on identifying harm reduction strategies, the ethics and legality surrounding the use of harm reduction strategies, and applying evidence-based interventions to patients with opioid use disorder.

Course Requirements

To receive ACPE credit for the live session at the Annual Meeting, you must:

  • Sign in (or create a FREE account).
  • Register for this course. (sign in first)
  • Attend and participate in the entire session and reflect upon its teachings.
  • Complete the evaluation at the end of the activity. (sign in first)
  • Provide the necessary details in your profile to ensure correct reporting by CPNP to CPE Monitor. (sign in first)

Upon successful completion, ACPE credit is reported within 24 hours to CPE Monitor although transcripts can be retrieved by participants online in their ACPE Transcript.

Faculty Information and Disclosures

Michelle Geier, PharmD, BCPP, APh

View biographical information and disclosures

Learning Objectives

  1. Assess the utility of harm reduction strategies for patients with opioid use disorder (OUD).
  2. Advocate for harm reduction strategies for patients with OUD based on ethical and legal considerations.
  3. Propose strategies to implement evidence-based harm reduction programs for patients with OUD.

Continuing Education Credit and Disclosures

Activity Date: 04/19/2021
ACPE Contact Hours: 1
ACPE Number: 0284-0000-21-004-L08-P (Application)
Nursing Credit Reminder: Note that ACPE credit is accepted for certification renewal.

ACPEThe College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education.