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In 2017, about 57 million persons had access to at least one prescription for an opioid. There were approximately 191 million opioid prescriptions dispensed in 2017. Self-reported opioid misuse within the past year was documented in approximately 11.5 million people over the age of 12 who participated in the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Over 2 million self-reported a diagnosis of opioid use disorder. It has been documented that approximately 1.8 million Americans have opioid use disorder related to opioid prescriptions. About 626,000 have heroin-related opioid use disorder.

The true incidence of opioid use disorder is unknown and is likely underestimated. Pharmacists can be advocates for the appropriate assessment of opioid use to screen for an opioid use disorder and make recommendations for most clinically appropriate medication management of Opioid Use Disorder (OUD).

The toolkit provides quick tips and guideline summaries in the following areas of opioid use disorder:

  • Screening
  • Diagnosis
  • Withdrawal
  • Medications for Treatment
  • Overdose Prevention Education and Treatment
  • Special Populations
  • Co-Occurring Disorders
  • Harm Reduction Strategies
  • References

Authored by CPNP members Cassandra Davis, PharmD, BCPS, BCPP, and Natalie Valentino, PharmD, BCPP, this guide is intended to highlight both the evidence base available as well as strategies of clinical decision making used by expert clinicians.