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The College of Psychiatric & Neurologic Pharmacists (CPNP) and members of its Substance Use Disorders Committee are pleased to announce the release of a toolkit intended to provide tips and a consolidated resource on opioid use disorder. The Pharmacist Toolkit: Medication Management of Opioid Use Disorders is authored by CPNP members Cassandra Davis, PharmD, BCPS, BCPP, with the Orlando Veteran Affairs Medical Center in Orlando, FL and Natalie Valentino, PharmD, BCPP, with the Salt Lake City Veterans Affairs Health Care System in Salt Lake City, UT. This guide is intended to highlight both the evidence base available as well as strategies of clinical decision making used by expert clinicians. The content reflects the views and practice of the authors as substantiated with evidence-based facts as well as opinion and experience. 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                                                          

CPNP’s President Megan Ehret, PharmD, MS, BCPP, Associate Professor at the University of Maryland, pointed to the role that pharmacists can and should play in medication management in opioid use disorder. “The Opioid Use Disorder epidemic is in the news constantly. FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in October 2018, that all forms of Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) should be available for the treatment of ‘everyone who presents with an overdose.’ Although there has been some improvement in terms of access to MAT, pharmacists can and should be a solution in providing this important health care. This toolkit is designed to provide a quick reference guide for pharmacists who are working in a health care team to provide MAT. The guide takes it as step further by also providing valuable information on frequently co-occurring disorders and special population related issues. Research has shown that MAT can help patients whose lives have been upended by opioid addiction return to normal functionThis guide serves as a tool to help pharmacists involved or working to become involved in this important area of treatment.”

The Pharmacist Toolkit: Medication Management of Opioid Use Disorders will be a living document that is updated and maintained on the CPNP website as a freely available source of information.

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