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Back Pain and Opioid Abuse: Managing a Slippery Slope
Course Code: NA1732

Author(s): Patsy Barnes RN

Pre-approved for: ACM, CA BRN, CCM, CDMS, CLCP, CNLCP, COHN/COHN-S, COPS-KT, CRC, CVE, CVRP, Delaware BON, Florida BON, RNs, RRP

Hours: 4

Back Pain and Opioid Abuse: Managing a Slippery Slope

This class will explore the management of back pain, including opioids as well as other medications and, specifically, the danger of opioid management.  There is an overview of the current epidemic of opioid abuse and the connection between management of back pain and the slippery slope of narcotic abuse and overdose. Other contributions to the epidemic, including the patients’ responsibilities and the healthcare providers’ responsibilities, are presented.  


  • Overview of back pain management
  • Overview of opioid epidemic
  • The human connection
  • The healthcare providers connection  
Course Objectives:
  1. State the standard of care for back pain including opioid prescriptions.

  2. Discuss the current statistics of the opioid epidemic in the USA.

  3. Compare and contrast the benefits and risks of opioid pain management.

  4. Distinguish between narcotic tolerance, narcotic abuse, and narcotic addiction.

  5. List the current recommendations for the healthcare provider in the management of opioids.

  6. Explain the contribution of culture and patient responsibility in the current epidemic.


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