Chronic opioid and pain management: Best practices


Chronic pain is a ubiquitous disease; in fact, 1 in 5 Americans have chronic pain. Chronic pain significantly affects patients' lives and clinicians have a moral obligation to treat chronic pain. In this lecture, Dr. Wright discusses the treatment of chronic pain, which should primarily be managed with non-medication and non-opioid medication approaches. However, in patients with severe chronic pain or refractory pain, opioids are sometimes needed to improve function and quality of life. This lecture focuses on what to do in those clinical situations where opioids are appropriate and how to best apply the framework of risk screening, stratification, mitigation, monitoring and aberrancy management for patients with chronic pain initiated and maintained on chronic opioid therapy. This detailed lecture empowers clinicians to create a framework by which to treat patients with opioids, while assuring maximum safety. 


This pre-recorded webinar, by speaker Stephen Wright MD, will take an estimated 75 minutes to complete.



Target Audience



Advanced Practice Clinicians

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify patients appropriate for initiation of chronic opioid therapy and how to discuss expectations.
  2. Implement appropriate monitoring of chronic opioid therapy and how to minimize side effects and adverse outcomes.
  3. Discuss how to address opioid misuse, concomitant substance use disorder (SUD) and other common issues (i.e. aberrancy management).
  4. Understand how to safely and effectively discontinue chronic opioid therapy.
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

This is webinar 6 of 8 for the Compass Opioid Stewardship Certificate Program

Don Stader, MD, FACEP

Don Stader, MD, FACEP, is an emergency physician, opioid expert, film producer and innovator. He works at Swedish Medical Center in Englewood, CO, where he serves as the section chair of emergency medicine and associate ED medical director. Stader holds a medical degree with honors from Baylor College of Medicine and attended emergency medicine residency at Carolinas Medical Center. He is the Past President of the Colorado chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians (COACEP) and former President of the Emergency Medicine Resident's Association (EMRA). He is also founder and past chair of Colorado ACEP's Opioid Task Force, Editor-in-Chief of COACEP's 2017 Opioid Prescribing and Treatment Guidelines and the leader of CO's CURE, an effort to create multidisciplinary opioid prescribing and treatment guidelines for the state of Colorado. Stader is the Senior Pain Management and Opioid Policy Physician Adviser for the Colorado Hospital Association and serves on multiple national and local committees addressing the opioid epidemic in Colorado and across the nation. He is the founder and chair emeritus of the nonprofit, The Emergency Medical Minute, which provides free online emergency medical education via podcasts and video.


Steven Wright, MD

Steven Wright, MD, holds a medical degree from Case Western Reserve University Medical School and is a residency-trained family physician with 42 years of experience. He specialized in addiction medicine for 34 years (board certified) and medical pain management for 18 years. He focused on issues related to controlled substances, addiction, and medical pain management through consulting, speaking, advocacy, policy development, education, medical provider assessment / supervision, and medical legal work. His academic and research interests include the neurophysiology and treatment of pain and addiction (etiology, pharmacogenetics, treatment), non-opioid analgesia, opioids (medical and non-medical use), cannabis (medical and nonmedical use), and benzodiazepines (best practice prescribing and deprescribing). Steve retired in October 2021 and lives in southern Oregon with his wife and family.

Accreditation: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Iowa Medical Society (IMS). Iowa Healthcare Collaborative (IHC) is accredited by the IMS to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Designation: The Iowa Healthcare Collaborative (IHC) designates this live activity for a maximum of  1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Commercial Support: This Activity was developed without support from any ineligible company. *The ACCME defines ineligible companies as those whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing healthcare products used by or on patients. Note: The ACCME does not consider providers of clinical service directly to patients to be commercial interests – unless the provider of clinical services is owned, or controlled by, and ACCME defined ineligible company.

Disclosure: IHC adheres to the Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education. The content of this activity is not related to products or the business lines of an ACCME-defined ineligible company. IHC has identified, reviewed, and mitigated all conflicts of interest that speakers, authors, course directors, planners, peer reviewers, or relevant staff disclose prior to the delivery of any educational activity.

Disclaimer: Participation in this IHC educational activity does not indicate nor guarantee competence or proficiency in the performance of any procedures which may be discussed or taught in this course. You should be aware that substantive developments in the medical field covered by this recording may have occurred since the date of original release.

Note: The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Board, The American Nurses Credentialing Center and The American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) accept AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ issued by organizations accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) toward recertification requirements. *We suggest that learners check with their state licensing board to ensure they accept reciprocity with AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ for re-licensure.

Available Credit

  • 1.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
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