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Interprofessional Team-Based Opioid Education


Thank you for your interest in the Interprofessional Team-based Opioid Education program. This website provides educational materials for a team-based training designed for health profession students and/or primary care practice teams that care for patients who take and/or potentially misuse opioids.


A rise in opioid overdose rates in the United States has been coined as an “opioid epidemic,” requiring a closer look at how opioids are prescribed (United States Department of Health and Human Services [HHS], 2017; Centers for Disease Control [CDC], 2016). Additionally, millions of people suffer with opioid use disorder (OUD) and admit to misuse of prescription opioids (HHS, 2017). All health care professions have a role to play in reducing this public health crisis. Chronic pain is also a common, disabling and costly public health issue. The U.S. National Pain Strategy (2016) calls for a better trained workforce armed with a multidisciplinary team-based approach to assess, treat, and manage the care of patients with pain. Personalized, patient-centered strategies to prevent and treat chronic pain must be balanced with efforts to curb inappropriate opioid prescribing and use practices (National Pain Strategy, 2016). We must start early, educating tomorrow’s health care providers about interprofessional team-based tactics for pain management and opioid misuse prevention. Simultaneously, we must also educate today’s primary care teams on current best practices for treating chronic pain and preventing consequences of opioid misuse.

Program description

The Interprofessional Team-based Opioid Education program provides educational materials for a team-based training program designed for health-professions students and/or primary care practice teams that care for patients with chronic pain who take and/or misuse opioids. Initial development of the student-focused curriculum was supported by a grant from the Washington State Department of Health. Current funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration has allowed for continued expansion of this interprofessional curriculum. More information about the development team and funding sources is available here.

The training is available in two versions: one designed for implementation in an academic setting with another version designed for use in a primary care clinical setting. Both versions of the training consist of a two-hour (optional third hour) in-person, case-based simulation using standardized patients and/or video scenarios for training interprofessional teams of primary care providers/prescribers (PCP’s), nurses, medical assistants, pharmacists, social workers and behavioral health professionals. The academic training consists of all components that an instructor would need to implement at their institution. The clinic training is an on-site interprofessional team training facilitated by a content expert from our team.

More information about the academic training is available here.

More information about the clinic-based training is available here.


  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC]. (2016). CDC guideline for prescribing opioids for chronic pain. Retrieved from
  2. National Pain Strategy. (2016). The Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee. Published March 16, 2016.
  3. United States Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]. (2017). What is the U.S. opioid epidemic? Retrieved from
  4. Interprofessional Education Collaborative. (2016). Core competencies for interprofessional collaborative practice: 2016 update. Washington, DC: Interprofessional Education Collaborative.
  5. Six Building Blocks.

Check out the Finding Joy podcast

Finding Joy
Finding Joy is produced by the Washington State University HRSA-funded Rethinking Education on Substance Use Through Interprofessional Education and Rural Community Training (RESPECT) grant. Episodes feature an individual practitioner’s take on being at their best while working in the health care field even during difficult times. Finding Joy includes Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine MD students and the practicing physicians who are teaching them.

Interprofessional Opioid Curriculum by Connie Remsberg, Marian Wilson, Barbara Richardson, Dawn DeWitt, and Brenda Bray is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0