Opioid Use Disorders: Pharmacology of Medications Used*



The United States is currently experiencing an opioid epidemic. There are 2 million Americans meeting criteria for opioid use disorders due to prescription opioid use and an additional 0.5 million meeting criteria due to their heroin use. Deaths from opioid overdoses are now comparable to vehicle crash deaths and opioid misuse is estimated to cost society more than $55 billion per year. While medications have been researched and documented as effective clinical interventions to address the significant medical, emotional, criminal justice, and societal costs, less than 30% of treatment programs offer medications and less than half of eligible patients in those programs receive medications.

Opioid use disorder (OUD) is increasingly encountered in clinical settings, and highly effective FDA approved medications are available for its treatment.  This Course will introduce recommendations for evidence-based treatment for opioid use disorders that support the use of medication to assist clinicians in clinical decision making and patient management.


  • Identify the rationale for using medications to treat opioid use disorder.
  • Identify the FDA-approved pharmacological treatments for OUD.
  • Describe the properties of the three common medications used in pharmacotherapy.
  • Explain the unique properties of methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone.
  • Describe the safety and efficacy and the benefits and limitations of available medications.
Target Audience: Psychologists, Social Workers, Addiction Counselors, & Licensed Professional Counselors
Content level: Beginner to intermediate
2 CE hour credits approved by ASWB, NAADAC & NBCC
State Board Approval
ADACBGA # 19-12-17-1212
FCB # 5387-A
VCB EP # 143
OCDP Board # 50-29024

Course Features

  • Lectures 2
  • Quizzes 1
  • Duration 2 hours
  • Skill level Beginner to intermediate
  • Language English
  • Students 1000
  • Certificate Yes
  • Assessments Self

    • Lecture1.1
      Opioid Use Disorders: Pharmacology of Medications Used

    • Lecture2.1
      Opioid Use Disorders: Pharmacology of Medications Used
  • QUIZ 1

    • Quiz3.1
      Opioid Use Disorders: Pharmacology of Medications Used 15 questions
Dr. Sharon Halliday serves as the Program Director and Clinical Supervisor at RAPHA Healthcare Services. She also works as a Psychiatrist at Medical Associates in St. Kitts and Nevis. Dr Halliday is very interested in the Dual Diagnosed and Revolving door patients and Recidivists and how Substance Use, Abuse and Dependence worsen the overall prognosis in these patients. She is also interested in how Mental Health and Substance Abuse adds to the overall Global Burden of Disease and in Policy development that would lead to their reduction. Dr. Halliday worked via a Medical School Faculty License in North Carolina from 2015 to 2018 as a Psychiatrist and prescriber of suboxone for Clients in Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) programs. Currently, Dr Halliday has current active Medical Licenses in St. Kitts and Nevis and in Anguilla. Ultimately these varied opportunities helped her to advance her clinical and administrative / managerial skills as well as to increase her collaborative and interpersonal skills while working with and making contributions to a team approach of managing clients. She is confident that her expertise in dealing with dual diagnosed clients and/or caring for persons diagnosed with substance use and/or mental health disorders is very valuable in today’s society.