Prescription Drug Misuse and Addiction: Compassionate Care for a Complex Problem


Internet Enduring Material Sponsored by the Stanford University School of Medicine. Presented by the Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Department at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Course Description

This CME activity provides a practical approach to the management of prescription drug misuse and addiction, including how to use the clinical interview and CURES (California’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Program) to identify if a problem exists, and how to intervene once the problem has been identified. Animated didactic videos, interactive slides, and video case scenarios will be used to put these principles into practice with a treatment algorithm. The most compassionate approach to tapering patients down and off the medication they are misusing will also be discussed.

Intended Audience

This course is designed for physicians and all health care providers who interact with patients around the issue of prescription medication, e.g. nurses, pharmacists, physician assistants.

Dates, Duration and Fee

  • Release Date: October 23, 2015
  • Expiration Date: August 31, 2018
  • Estimated Time to Complete: 2.0 Hours
  • CME Credits Offered: 2.00
  • Registration Fee: FREE

To Obtain CME Credits

  • Review the information below and complete the entire activity.
  • Complete the CME Post-test, CME Evaluation Survey, and CME Activity Completion Statement at the end of the activity.
  • You must receive a score of 75% or higher on the post-test in order to receive a certificate. You will have two attempts to answer each multiple-choice question (or one attempt for questions with only two options) to pass the post-test.
  • Once you attest to completing the entire online activity and have scored 75% or higher on the post-test, your certificate will be generated automatically and will be available on your Dashboard page.
  • Physicians will be awarded AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. All other participants will receive a Certificate of Participation.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, participants should be able to:

Describe the current state of the prescription drug misuse problem.

Describe the role of the provider in the prescription drug misuse problem.

Recognize drug-seeking patterns and strategies used by patients who are misusing prescription medications.

Diagnose a prescription drug use problem when it is present.

Reduce or avoid using enabling and defensive behaviors which exacerbate the problem in the patient.

Describe the implications for treatment and outcomes when prescription drug misuse is recognized as a chronic medical illness.

Interpret findings on CURES, California’s prescription drug monitoring program, to identify a prescription drug problem.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Describing the Prescription Drug Epidemic
3. The Doctor-Patient Relationship
4. How Doctors Can Help Instead of Harm?
5. Course Wrap-up
6. Resources and References
7. Help!


The following planners, speakers and authors have indicated that they have no relationships with industry to disclose relative to the content of this activity:

Anna Lembke, MD
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Director, Stanford Addiction Medicine Program
Stanford University School of Medicine
Course Director

Technical Design and Development

Mike McAuliffe
Stanford EdTech

Kimberly Walker, PhD
Stanford EdTech

Greg Bruhns
Stanford Online

Role Play Actor
Pamela Nemecek

Hardware/Software Requirements

  • Computer with Internet connection
  • Current version of Chrome or Safari browser
  • You must have javascript enabled

Accreditation and Designation of Credits

The Stanford University School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The Stanford University School of Medicine designates this enduring material for a maximum of 2.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The California Board of Registered Nursing recognizes that Continuing Medical Education (CME) is acceptable for meeting RN continuing education requirements as long as the course is certified for AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ ( Nurses will receive a Certificate of Participation following this activity that may be used for license renewal.

Commercial Support Acknowledgement

This activity received no commercial support.

Cultural and Linguistic Competency

California Assembly Bill 1195 requires continuing medical education activities with patient care components to include curriculum in the subjects of cultural and linguistic competency. It is the intent of the bill, which went into effect July 1, 2006, to encourage physicians and surgeons, CME providers in the State of California and the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to meet the cultural and linguistic concerns of a diverse patient population through appropriate professional development. The planners and speakers of this CME activity have been encouraged to address cultural issues relevant to their topic area. The Stanford University School of Medicine Multicultural Health Portal also contains many useful cultural and linguistic competency tools including culture guides, language access information and pertinent state and federal laws.

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Course Details

  • Release Date: October 23, 2015
  • Release Date: August 31, 2018
  • Estimated Time to Complete: 2.0 Hours
  • CME Credits Offered: 2.00
  • Registration Fee: FREE

Contact Information

If you are having technical problems (video freezes or is unplayable, can't print your certificate, etc.) you can submit a Help Request to the OpenEdX Team.

If you have questions related to CME credit, requirements (Pre-test, Post-test, Evaluation, Attestation) or course content, click the link below to contact the CME Online support team.

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