ATrain Education


Continuing Education for Health Professionals

Opioids as Medications

Mary Lynn Mathre, RN, MSN, CARN

Mary Lynn (ML) Mathre earned a BSN from the College of St. Teresa in Winona, Minnesota, and a Master's degree from Case Western Reserve University. She is a Certified Addictions RN through the International Nurses Society on Addictions.

Mary Lynn began her career in the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps as a medical-surgical specialist. Having earned her Master's degree, Mary Lynn began teaching at the University of Virginia School of Nursing but changed her focus to addictions nursing and returned to clinical practice.

She first worked on the Addictions Treatment Unit at UVA, then as the addictions consult nurse for the UVA Health System, and from 2004 to 2007 she was executive director of an opioid treatment program in Charlottesville.

Mark Nichols, PhD

Mark Nichols earned a BA in Biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, and a PhD in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University. He then spent several years doing postdoctoral work in Heidelberg, Germany, before joining the faculty in Pharmacology at the University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine.

Mark is a biomedical researcher, medical school faculty member, consultant, and expert witness in molecular pharmacology, oncology, and endocrinology. His research has focused on estrogens, estrogen receptors, and steroids and their roles in hormone-responsive breast and uterine cancers, as well as prostate, lung, and other cancers.

  • Contact hours:
  • Pharmacotherapy hours: 2
  • Expiration date: November 1, 2019
  • Course price: $17

Course Summary

The pharmacologic properties of opioids including their mechanisms of action, receptor targets, target tissues, agonists and antagonists. Clinical applications including accepted usage, duration of action, and the minimizing of side effects. Finally, a look at overdose deaths from opioid abuse, cannabis as a harm reduction agent, and patient education about opioids.

ATrain Education, Inc. is an approved provider by the American Occupational Therapy Association. The following course information applies to occupational therapy professionals:

  • Target Audience: Occupational Therapists, OTAs
  • Instructional Level: Intermediate
  • Content Focus: Category 1—Domain of OT, Client Factors Category 2—Occupational Therapy Process, Outcomes

Criteria for Successful Completion

80% or higher on the post test, a completed evaluation form, and payment where required. No partial credit will be awarded.

Conflict of Interest/Commercial Support

Conflict of Interest/Commercial Support

The planners and authors of this learning activity have declared no conflicts of interest, vested interest, or financial relationship that may influence the content of this activity. All information is provided fairly and without bias.

ATrain Education, Inc. received no outside financial or commercial support in the preparation, presentation or implementation of this learning activity and has no affiliation with any company whose products or services are mentioned in this activity.

Accreditation Information

Objectives: When you finish this course you will be able to:

  • Comment on the history of poppies and the opium trade.
  • Identify the various receptor targets of opioid action and explain how they differ.
  • Describe the actions of morphine.
  • Identify morphine-like drugs and synthetic derivatives.
  • Discuss dependence, tolerance, and addiction in opioids.
  • Explain ADME in pharmacokinetics.
  • List other opioid analgesics in addition to morphine.
  • Distinguish between opioid agonists and antagonists and the ways they are used.
  • Summarize the current problem of overdose from prescribed opioids.
  • Describe the use of methadone and its relation to overdose deaths.
  • Teach a patient how to minimize the negative side effects of opioid use.
  • Explain cannabis as an adjunct treatment for chronic pain to reduce the use of opioids.

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