How to Taper Patients Off of Chronic Opioid Therapy
This activity will enable health care providers to recognize when risks of chronic opioid therapy outweigh benefits, and how to safely and compassionately taper patients down or off of chronic opioid therapy (including the use of buprenorphine to make this transition). A real life patient case scenario will be used to illustrate these principles in practice, including what to say to patients to communicate risks and provide support through the difficult period of withdrawal. When to refer for addiction treatment will also be discussed.
Upcoming start dates
- Self-paced Online
Who should attend?
Course delivery details
This course is offered through Stanford University, a partner institute of EdX.
1-3 hours per week
Certification / Credits
What you'll learn
- Recognize when risks of chronic opioid therapy outweigh benefits and effectively communicate this information to patients.
- Employ language to prepare patients in advance for the opioid taper, and to provide emotional support in the midst of withdrawal.
- Integrate the key features of a successful outpatient taper off of chronic opioid therapy: go slowly, take breaks, never go backwards.
- Distinguish the signs and symptoms of opioid use disorder (addiction), and intervene with compassion when, in the process of a taper, an opioid use disorder comes to light.
- Counsel patients on non-opioid alternatives to chronic pain
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