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Mamta Parikh, PharmD, BCPS, BCPP
Assistant Professor, Clinical and Administrative Sciences
Notre Dame of Maryland University, School of Pharmacy

The Opioid Overdose Education and Naloxone Distribution (OEND) was introduced to the School of Pharmacy at Notre Dame of Maryland University in Spring 2016. The third-year student pharmacists (P3s) were trained on recognizing the signs and symptoms of opioid overdose and administering naloxone, in collaboration with the Baltimore Harm Reduction Coalition (BHRC), as part of the Care Lab course. Some of the students, during their fourth year (P4), became trainers along with some faculty. During this time, the students and faculty worked to develop Notre Dame’s training program. The School of Pharmacy received authorization from the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to conduct educational training and refresher training programs under an Overdose Response Program (ORP) in February 2017. 

The training provides background on opioid use and opioid overdose-related deaths, signs and symptoms of opioid overdose, how to respond to an overdose, administering four different naloxone products (intramuscular naloxone, Evzio auto-injector, intranasal Narcan, and intranasal Amphastar), and Maryland laws on dispensing and administering naloxone. The onsite training entails interactive counseling sessions, in which the trainees complete a mock counseling session on the naloxone products. Starting 2017 Spring semester, all P3s completed Notre Dame’s OEND certification during Care Lab. The training incorporated an opioid overdose simulation with SimMan® patient simulator. During their P4 year, 14 students completed the Train the Trainer Certification in OEND. 

The School of Pharmacy has conducted 16 training sessions for health care professionals and community members including 49 pgharmacists at the Maryland Society of Health-System Pharmacy’s annual Spring meeting. The team has also trained campus security, other university faculty, and all undergraduate freshmen who are trained every year at the beginning of the Fall semester.

To further assist practicing pharmacists, some of the sessions incorporated SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment). Pharmacists were educated on the screening tools that can be utilized to identify individuals at risk of a substance use disorder. Motivational interviewing techniques were reviewed and pharmacists were provided with resources to identify treatment centers near their practice area.

Dr. Courtney Ensor, one of the trainers from the Class of 2017, shared “I was able to utilize my certification during my residency training. I participated in community service events that involved educating the public on naloxone and provided in-services to pharmacists, physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and nurses. At my previous facility, naloxone was prescribed to all pain management patients, patients admitted to inpatient psychiatric and the substance use disorder units, therefore, the training was very helpful when it came to counseling the patients.

Acknowledgments: Dr. Min Kwon, Dr. Ashley Moody, Dr. Regine Beliard, Dr. Andrea Gauld, and Dr. Courtney Ensor

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