Health Professionals

Understanding Addiction as a Disease

  • What is Addiction?
    • This drug research program describes what addiction is, its prevalence and impact.
    • CASAColumbia
  • Understanding, Recognizing, and Treating the Disease State
    • A presentation built to foster understanding of the addiction disease state.
    • OverdoseFreePA
  • Community Based Education and Naloxone Rescue Kits

Scientific Component of Overdose

  • Overdose Trends
    • A presentation by Dr. Neil Capretto, of the Gateway Rehabilitation Center, explaining clinical trends in local and national overdose data and trends in drug use.
    • Gateway Rehabilitation Center
  • Drugs, Brains, and Behavior
    • An overview of how we understand addiction through the lens of science.
    • NIDA
  • Epidemiological Profile of Overdose Data
    • A profile of the overdose phenomenon in Allegheny County. While the report is specific to only one county, the information present here is applicable to many aspects of the overdose phenomenon present in other communities.
    • University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy

Safe Prescribing and Dispensing

Opioid Prescribing:

  • Where You Live Matters
    • The CDC explores county-level characteristics of opioid prescribing.
    • CDC

Chronic Pain:

  • CDC Prescribing Guidelines
    • The 2016 Guideline released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain.
    • CDC
  • Opioids and Treating Non-cancer Pain
    • A PDF guide developed to aid in  the Prescribing Guidelines for opioids to treat chronic non-cancer pain
    • PA Medical Society
  • Achieving the Right Balance of Opioid Prescribing
    • This article explains how the increase in opioid prescribing for chronic pain which leads to misuse of prescription opioids.
    • New England Journal of Medicine

Acute Pain:

  • Information for Prescribers
    • A brief but informative guide on overdose from SAMHSA, the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
    • SAMHSA
  • Emergency Department
    • Guidelines for prescribing in Emergency Departments for Pain Treatment.
    • PA Medical Society

Specialty:

  • Dental Pain
    • A PDF from the PA Dental Association outlining best practices for prescribing opioids.
    • PA Dental Association
  • Anxiety and Insomnia
    • Prescribing guidelines for benzodiazepines when treating anxiety and insomnia.
    • PA Medical Society
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
    • PDF guide addressing the use of opioids for the treatment of pain in pregnant patients and the treatment of substance use disorder during pregnancy.
    • PA Medical Society
  • Geriatric Pain
    • A PDF guide to the use of opioids for treatment of pain with the geriatric population.
    • PA Medical Society
  • Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome
    • Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) occurs when a baby is exposed to drugs in the womb birth and then displays withdrawal symptoms shortly after birth.
    • Both prescription and illicit drugs can cause NAS but babies exposed to opioids in the womb have over a 50% chance of developing NAS.
    • How is it diagnosed: The presence of drugs in a newborns system can be detected through urine or meconium (the child’s first stool) testing after birth or using the Neonatal Abstinence scoring system. Physicians will use a scoring system to help determine an infant’s course of treatment based on the severity of symptoms the child is displaying.
    • Symptoms include:
      • Body shakes, seizures, twitching
      • Fussiness or excessive crying
      • Diarrhea or vomiting
      • Trouble sleeping
      • Rapid breathing
    • How is it treated: NAS can be treated: weaning the baby safely off of the drug is the first step. For opioids, this means using methadone, morphine, or buprenorphine. It is also vital to make sure that the baby receives fluids to prevent dehydration and combat other symptoms of NAS. Most babies with NAS will recover between two to three weeks.
    • How is it treated: NAS can be treated: weaning the baby safely off of the drug is the first step. For opioids, this means using methadone, morphine, or buprenorphine. It is also vital to make sure that the baby receives fluids to prevent dehydration and combat other symptoms of NAS. Most babies with NAS will recover between two to three weeks.
    • Treatment can also begin in the womb. Working with a healthcare provider on a comprehensive treatment plan will help the mother and child. Working on preventing relapse is key to prevent further exposure to the child.
    • While your baby is being treated for NAS, it is important to keep him or her calm. Swaddling, skin-to-skin contact, and keeping a calming environment will help aide in your baby’s recovery.
    • Prevention: Opioid abuse has been increasing across the United States and as a side effect of this so has the incidence of NAS. If you are using opioids and believe you may be pregnant, consult a physician to begin safe treatment protocol. It is important to not go “cold turkey” because it can cause harm to the person and the baby.

Dispensing:

Co-Prescribing Naloxone:

Screening, Brief, Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT)

  • Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment
    • An evidence-based practice for uncovering, discussing and treating substance use disorders, presented by the University of Pittsburgh for free CME credits.
    • University of Pittsburgh
  • Complications of Commonly Used Drugs
    • Medical and psychiatric complications for patients with alcohol and/or other substance use disorders.
    • University of Pittsburgh
  • Screening and Assessment Instruments
    • Learn about various tools to assess for risk and current substance abuse, misuse or addiction during initial contemplation of opioid therapy for chronic pain, and when to optimally use them.
    • Clinical Tools Inc.

Warm Hand-off

  • Discussing Substance Use with Patients
    • A guide from NIDA on how to get the conversation started.
    • NIDA

Treatment for Substance Use Disorder

  • Addiction Treatment Forum Events
  • Vivitrol
    • Information on Vivitrol for patients and healthcare professionals.
    • Vivitrol
  • Analgesic Effectiveness Quality Improvement Programs
    • a web resource that aims to “develop incentive and compliance programs for physicians that refocus the emphasis of the business of pain medicine on quality analgesic practice.”
    • AEQIP
  • Medical Health and Substance Treatment Systems
    • A PDF guide with a step-by-step process of how physicians can facilitate patient access to SUD treatment services.
    • SMaRT
  • Act 53
    • A page from the Allegheny County website that describes Act 53, an act that allows families or guardians of minor children to commit them involuntarily to drug and alcohol treatment.
    • Allegheny County Human Services

After Treatment

Medication-Assisted Treatment

  • Clinical Support System for MAT
    • A wide variety of trainings related to medication-assisted treatment.
    • PCSS-MAT

Buprenorphine Guidelines

  • Methadone and Prescription Drug Overdose
    • An article explaining methadone-related overdoses.
    • NCSL

Materials

Our Partners

Pennsylvania Medical Society
Pennsylvania Psychiatric Society
Pennsylvania Pharmacists Association
Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association
The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania
DEA 360 Strategy
Pennsylvania Dental Association