Opioid Education and Resources

Implementing Non-Pharmacologic Pain Management Alternatives in the Emergency Department Topic Brief
This topic brief provides emergency nurses with current information regarding nurse initiated, non-pharmacologic methods to address pain in the ED to reduce opioid use and overdose deaths. Learn more
Emergency Department Safety (NET): Naloxone Education Toolkit
The ENA Naloxone Education Toolkit (NET) is designed for emergency nurses and providers, and includes the necessary resources to educate patients and family members about opioid overdose. Information on distribution and proper use of naloxone kits is also included in this toolkit. Learn more.
Naloxone Kits Available Here Poster
Stop an overdose and save a life poster with opioid overdose identifiers that can be displayed. Easily personalize this poster with the location of your facilities Naloxone Kits and how to request one via the fillable PDF fields. Learn more.
Opioid Safety Pamphlet
Opioid information on how to recognize and manage an overdose in an easily accessible and printer friendly pamphlet. Learn more.
Lend a Helping Hand Poster
Poster with actionable "H.A.N.D." steps and identifiers of an opioid overdose and what to do to help that can be displayed throughout the health care facility. Learn more.
This video segment was produced as part of ‘The Opioid Epidemic: Empowering Community Action’ a news and current affairs-style program designed to raise awareness of effective practices communities are using to stem and reverse the epidemic produced in collaboration by the AMA Alliance (AMAA) and ITN Productions.

The program aims to highlight the commitment of the government agencies, nonprofits, universities, and AMA Alliance community to work towards solutions on the most pressing issues in addressing solutions for patients enhancing comprehensive treatment and support for substance use disorders. 


The Emergency Nurses Association is a leading voice in the push to improve emergency health care for patients struggling with opioid-use issues. Learn how by viewing the latest federal and state news below:

Opioids Posing Increasingly Dangerous Threats to Emergency Nurses

Jul 20, 2017, 09:22 AM by User Not Found
The threat from opioids has become so prevalent that the Emergency Nurses Association is dedicating four sessions at their national conference, Emergency Nursing 2017, in September to help healthcare professionals deal with it.

Strategies to combat the crisis will be a focus at the Emergency Nurses Association's upcoming national conference

DES PLAINES, Ill. – The opioid epidemic ravaging communities across the United States is posing a new threat to those on the front line who are working to combat it. Increasingly, police officers, paramedics and emergency nurses are treating patients who have overdosed on opioids, and in some cases, those healthcare providers are being exposed to toxic levels of the drugs.

The threat from opioids has become so prevalent that the Emergency Nurses Association is dedicating four sessions at their national conference, Emergency Nursing 2017, in September to help healthcare professionals deal with it.

“We can’t take these drugs off the streets, but what we must do is ensure emergency departments are prepared to deal with the patients who are flooding through the doors in alarming numbers,” said Karen Wiley, MSN, RN, CEN, president of the Emergency Nurses Association. “The sessions at Emergency Nursing 2017 are designed to educate nurses on the latest developments to help battle this growing problem, and teach them how to put protocols in place.”

The epidemic will be addressed in four different sessions at Emergency Nursing 2017:
●    Opioid Addiction and Deaths Spiraling Out of Control
●    ALTO I – Alternatives to Opioids – Intro to ALTO
●    ALTO II – Alternatives to Opioids — ALTO Program Implementation
●    Opioid Crisis and Information System Technology in the Emergency Department

The Opioid Addiction and Deaths Spiraling Out of Control session will educate nurses on the dangers of emerging drugs sold on the street like carfentanil, a synthetic drug often disguised as heroin. “Carfentanil is traditionally used as an elephant tranquilizer, so the amount needed to kill a human is frighteningly small,” said Cathy Fox, RN, CEN, CPEN, FAEN, who will lead the session. “EMS, police and emergency department personnel can easily come in contact with a fatal dose without even knowing it, so it’s imperative that they are able to recognize patients that are on this particular drug and take extreme measures to reduce their risk of exposure.”

Carfentanil can be sold as powder, in pill form or on blotter paper and is five thousand times more potent than heroin. Healthcare workers who come into contact with an overdose victim of carfentanil can become lethally poisoned themselves, merely by touching the patient without the proper protective gear, or even by breathing in trace amounts of the substance. “Our goal is to educate emergency nurses about what’s out there and the risks they could face any time an overdose patient arrives at their facility for care,” said Fox.

The ALTO I – Alternatives to Opioids – Intro to ALTO and ALTO II – Alternatives to Opioids — ALTO Program Implementation sessions will focus on breaking the grip of opioid addiction by cutting down on the number of prescriptions that are written in the first place. The sessions will be led by Dr. Alexis LaPietra, DO, and Kimberly Russo, BSN, RN, CEN, FN-CSA, of St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center in Paterson, NJ.

St. Joseph’s was the first in the nation to implement the Alternatives to Opioids program (ALTO), which focuses on treating patients for pain without exposing them to opioids and the dangers of addiction.

The Opioid Crisis and Information System Technology in the Emergency Department session will highlight technology that can be employed in emergency departments to better identify and track patients who frequently seek opioid prescriptions.

“Unfortunately, some patients are very opportunistic in getting providers to write opioid prescriptions to them,” said Eric Ringle, MS, RN, who will lead the session. “The good news is, there is emerging technology that allows us to track prescriptions much more closely, so it’s less likely that patients can go from one place to the next to get these drugs.”

Electronic Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs allow caregivers to share patient-specific information instantaneously. Whenever a patient is prescribed an opioid, their information is uploaded into a database that allows caregivers to more effectively track where a patient has been treated and how often he or she was prescribed opioids.

“Sharing that information is invaluable in helping to prevent abuse and, in many cases, can help initiate an intervention that could save a patient’s life,” said Ringle.

Emergency Nursing 2017 is September 13 - 16 in St. Louis; emergency nurses can register with just a $100 non-refundable deposit. The extended Early Bird Rate expires on August 1.

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