Nursing: Prescription Medication Abuse: Scope, Prevention, and Management, 2nd Edition

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About the Course

Education of healthcare providers regarding the scope of prescription medication abuse is vital to reducing the abuse and diversion of prescription medications (without denying access to the medications for those who truly need them).  The information presented in this course is applicable to all nurses, regardless of their practice setting or scope of practice, and defines the scope of the problem of prescription medication abuse. Nurses are positioned to mitigate this growing problem by identifying the most commonly abused medications, risk factors for substance use disorders, and methods of acquisition of these medications. Additionally, nurses may be able to reduce their personal risk of acquiring a medication abuse problem, enhance their ability to recognize problematic medication use in other health professionals, and be better able to serve as informed prevention advocates for their patients and their communities (National Council of State Boards of Nursing, 2014a).

Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of this course, the learner will be able to:
  • Describe the history and scope of prescription medication abuse.
  • Identify appropriate terminology used when discussing prescription medication abuse.
  • Explain the pharmacology, physiology, and regulatory control of prescription drugs most commonly abused and the extent and impact of their nonmedical use.
  • Identify the populations most at risk for abusing prescription medications and their access to these medications.
  • Describe best practices regarding the initiation of treatment and management of patients prescribed opioid-based therapies for chronic pain.
  • Explain the role of the professional nurse.

About the Author: 
Maryam Mamou, BSN, RN, CWOCN

Maryam Mamou, BSN, RN, CWOCN, has over 30 years of clinical experience that includes acute care, rehabilitation care, and home health care. She has provided care to patients with acute and chronic pain issues in both inpatient and outpatient settings. She is currently employed as a nurse consultant with the state of Wisconsin and her work includes staying apprised of regulations pertaining to substance administration and substance abuse.

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