Opioid Overdose


4.7 out of 5 (64 Reviews)



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Expiration Date

28 Feb 2026

Last Reviewed

1 Mar 2023

Estimated Time To Finish

90 Minutes

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Activity Description

One very common reason why patients seek medical care is for pain. Today, there are many ways to relieve pain, and one of them is with the use of opiates. Opiates have formally been approved for analgesia for close to 70 years, and for the most part, these drugs have been assumed to be relatively safe. However, in the last 2 decades, many reports have raised concern about the safety of these drugs. Cases of overdose and opiate toxicity are continually reported in all major cities in the United States. More notable is that the prescriptions for opiates have dramatically increased over the past 2 decades. This empirical prescription habit by healthcare workers has also led to an epidemic of an overdose outside the healthcare setting. Thus, for practicing healthcare workers, it is important to be aware of opiate toxicity in patients who are lethargic or unresponsive for no apparent reason.

Target Audience

This activity has been designed to meet the educational needs of physicians.

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, the learner will be better able to:

  • Review the current opioid epidemic in the USA.
  • Describe the mode of action of the opiates.
  • Summarize ways to prevent and manage opiate toxicity and overdose.
  • Explain the importance of improving care coordination among interprofessional team members to improve outcomes for patients affected by opioid overdose.


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COMMERCIAL SUPPORT: This activity has received NO commercial support.

Continuing Education Accreditation Information

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University, and StatPearls, LLC. The Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Quillen College of Medicine, East Tennessee State University designates this activity for a maximum of 1.50 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

This activity is reported to the following Maintenance of Certification (MOC) boards:
American Board of Internal Medicine
  • Clinical Cardiac Electrophysiology
  • Internal Medicine
American Board of Pathology
  • Chemical Pathology
  • Forensic Pathology
American Board of Pediatrics
  • General Pediatrics
  • Medical Toxicology

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  1. Register for the activity and create a StatPearls login.     
  2. Review the target audience, learning objectives, and disclosure information.
  3. Study the educational content in the activity.
  4. Choose the best answer to each activity test question. To receive credit, you must pass the test questions with a minimum score of 100%.
  5. Complete the post-activity assessment.
  6. Obtain a certificate.

For information on the applicability and acceptance of continuing education credit for this activity, please consult your professional licensing board.


Faculty may discuss investigational products or off-label uses of products regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration. Readers should verify all information before employing any therapies described in this educational activity.

The information provided for this activity is for continuing education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical/clinical judgment of a healthcare provider relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition. The information presented does not necessarily reflect the views of StatPearls or any commercial supporters of educational activities on statpearls.com. StatPearls specifically disclaims responsibility for any adverse consequences resulting directly or indirectly from information in the course, for undetected error, or through a participant's misunderstanding of the content.

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Medium or Media Used:

  • Computer Requirements: Internet Access
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