Pharmacy Practice

Shining a Light on ASHP's Commitment to Addressing the Opioid Epidemic

Published: October 5, 2022
educational programming

Sessions highlight strategies, assessments and controversies surrounding the growing opioid crisis.

Drug overdose deaths in the U.S. topped 100,000 in 2021, despite trends that were steady or declining prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Tragically, it is estimated that 130 people die every day in the U.S. from an opioid overdose. As a nation, we continue to struggle to find the balance between optimizing care for patients experiencing pain and reducing the prevalence and incidence of opioid use and substance use disorders. One strategy that ASHP believes strongly in is that the pharmacy workforce needs to be leveraged to its fullest capacity as we seek to manage pain and address the opioid epidemic. The expertise contained within our membership to move the needle on this public health crisis is expansive. That is evident by the number of sessions related to pain management, opioid use disorder, and controlled substance diversion during the ASHP 2022 Midyear Clinical Meeting & Exhibition. Be sure to scan all of these sessions to see if they work with your schedule during the meeting.

  • Roundtable: Controlled Substance Diversion – Mitigation and Management
  • (Management Case Study) Establishing a Drug Diversion Response Team (DDRT) Within Risk Management at a Multi-Center Teaching Institution
  • Rise of The Machine: Empowering a Diversion Monitoring Program Using Machine Learning
  • Going the Distance: Care for Patients with Opioid Use Disorder Across Care Settings
  • Buprenorphine Is Not the Only Synthetic: Getting L-OUD about Managing Overdose in the Age of Illicit Synthetics
  • Three's a Charm: Opioid Stewardship Across Care Settings
  • Goldilocks in Crisis: Exploring the Controversies of Determining Which Analgesic Is 'Just Right'
  • Where's Waldo? Metric-Based vs. Patient-Centered Pain Care
  • Pain, PICS, and PTSD — Assessment, Prevention, and Treatment Strategies in the ICU
  • A Painless Transition: Pharmacist-Led Perioperative Pain Management

Moving forward, ASHP will continue to make investments on behalf of our members in the development of resources and programming and in strategic collaborations to influence advocacy efforts related to pain management and opioid stewardship. Activities related to our commitment to addressing the opioid epidemic take the form of public and member education, publications and research, policy, regulatory and legislative engagement, and constituent collaboration. One example of an ongoing investment is our decision to be an original sponsor of the National Academy of Medicine Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic in 2019. As the only sponsoring pharmacy organization, our involvement aims to support the mission of the action collaborative while using deliverables from it to inform our work. Another example is nominating members to serve on a workgroup with the National Institute on Drug Abuse Clinical Trials Network to inform a research agenda to evaluate ways to increase patient access to medications for opioid use disorder in community pharmacies. Watch for information from both of these efforts in the months and years ahead.

Visit ASHP’s Midyear meeting session schedule to find out more about the full roster of educational sessions and special events.

Posted October 5, 2022

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