Chronic Pain and Opioid Use: Best Practices in the Current Environment

This program provides education on the optimal management of chronic pain, particularly using opioids appropriately and managing patients’ risk for harm. Our distinguished faculty, led by pain expert Paul Christo, MD, discusses the elements of appropriate opioid prescribing for chronic pain as well as the various opioids, including abuse-deterrent formulations, the use of naloxone, opioid interactions, and opioids in patients with complex issues such as addiction. Brett Snodgrass, NP, provides the primary care perspective on proper assessment for pain; strategies for assessing a patient’s risk for opioid misuse, abuse, and addiction; initial considerations in selecting an opioid; and alternative treatment options. Gary Reisfield, MD, discusses safe prescribing and ongoing monitoring and surveillance using available tools such as urine drug testing and prescription databases. Jennifer Bolen, JD, provide the legal and regulatory perspective on opioid prescribing and discusses how clinicians can best protect themselves and their practices from regulatory action and litigation.  

Faculty: Paul Christo, MD; Brett Badgley Snodgrass, FNP-C, CPE, FACPP; Gary Reisfield, MD; Jennifer Bolen, JD

Target Audience

This 5-hour continuing education activity is designed for all clinicians who treat chronic pain. 

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this activity, participants should be better able to:

  1. Summarize the incidence of opioid overdose and the high percentage of unintentional overdose.
  2. Describe the risk factors for prescription opioid overdose.
  3. Identify assessment criteria for chronic pain and appropriate strategies for patient monitoring.
  4. Explain the role of abuse-deterrent opioid formulations, naloxone use, and Suboxone®.
  5. Describe the risks of opioid-drug interactions and identify groups at increased risk of harm from opioid use. 
  6. List three elements that must be included in the patient record of the chronic pain patient.
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 5.00 ACPE
  • 5.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™
  • 5.00 ANCC
  • 5.00 APA
  • 5.00 Document of Attendance
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Paul Christo, MD, is an associate professor in the division of pain medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He served as director of the Multidisciplinary Pain Fellowship Program and the Blaustein Pain Treatment Center at Johns Hopkins. He serves on four journal editorial boards, has published more than 100 articles and book chapters, and has co-edited three textbooks on pain. He is a member of Men’s Health magazine medical advisory board. He hosts the nationally syndicated SiriusXM radio talk show, “Aches and Gains,” which has earned the John and Emma Bonica Public Service Award from the American Pain Society. He’s also been designated a “Hero” by The Pain Community.

Gary M. Reisfield, MD, is an assistant professor in the Divisions of Addiction Medicine, Pain Medicine, and Forensic Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, at the University of Florida College of Medicine in Gainesville, Florida. Dr. Reisfield has completed a residency in anesthesiology and fellowships in pain medicine and addiction medicine, and is board certified in all three specialties. His major research interest is adherence monitoring in long-term opioid therapy, and he has authored numerous peer-reviewed articles on this topic. He holds editorial positions with Journal of Analytical Toxicology, Journal of Opioid Management, and Pain Medicine, and is a certified Medical Review Officer.

Brett Badgley Snodgrass, FNP-C, CPE, FACPP, is a family nurse practitioner at LifeLinc Pain in Memphis, Tennessee, where she is the director of clinical operations. She is board certified with the American Association of Nurse Practitioners, where she is currently the Tennessee State Representative. She is also a Certified Pain Educator and a Fellow of the Advanced Credentialed Pain Practitioner of the American Academy of Pain Management. She was recently inducted as a Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. She received the 2015 AANP State Excellence Award for Tennessee for 2015 for her work across the state on the Tennessee Chronic Pain Task Force, as well as advocating for Tennessee Full Practice Authority for Nurse Practitioners. 

Jennifer Bolen, JD, is a nationally recognized compliance and legal expert on the use of controlled medications to treat pain. She is a former federal prosecutor and actively participates in the defense of health care entities and practitioners nationwide. Ms. Bolen and her team consult with and manage independent and physician office laboratories across the country. Ms. Bolen is an active member of SPPAN’s Policy and Advocacy Committee.

Staff and Content Validation Reviewer Disclosures

The staff involved with this activity and any content validation reviewers of this activity have reported no relevant financial relationships with commercial interests.

Planning Committee/Faculty Disclosure

Dr. Christo reports that he receives consulting fees from Grunenthal, Quest Diagnostics, and Recro Pharma. He is the owner of Algiatry, LLC.

Dr. Reisfield reports that he has nothing to disclose.

Ms. Snodgrass reports that she receives speaker bureau fees from Depomed Pharmaceuticals, Iroko Pharmaceuticals, AstraZeneca, and Purdue Pharmaceuticals. She also receives consultant fees from McNeil.

Ms. Bolen reports that she receives consulting fees from Alere and MTL Solutions.

Debra Nelson-Hogan, Director of Education for the Academy of Integrative Pain Management, reports that she has nothing to disclose.

Cathleen Coneghen, Assistant Director of Education for the Academy of Integrative Pain Management, reports that she has nothing to disclose.

The information provided at this activity is for continuing education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a health care provider relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition.

For questions regarding CME for this activity, you may reach the department of education at the Academy of Integrative Pain Management at

This program was supported by an education grant from Teva Pharamceuticals.

For successful completion of this activity, please complete a pre-test; utilize the audio recordings synched with the presentation slides to review the content, providing answers to your questions as necessary; and complete a post-test and evaluation following the activity. You will then be prompted to print your certificate. This activity should take approximately 5 hours to complete.

This program is accredited for physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and psychologists. All other clinicians can submit the certificate of attendance upon completion of the program to their licensing boards for consideration of credit.


The Academy of Integrative Pain Management is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
The Academy of Integrative Pain Management designates this educational activity for a maximum of 5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


Amedco is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.
This enduring course is co-provided by Amedco and the Academy of Integrative Pain Management. Maximum of 5 contact hour(s).


The Academy of Integrative Pain Management is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The American Academy of Pain Management maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

The Academy designates this activity for a maximum of 5 CE credits.


Amedco is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education. Amedco designates this enduring activity for a maximum of 5 contact hour(s). Full attendance is required. No partial contact hours will be awarded for partial attedance. 

Available Credit

  • 5.00 ACPE
  • 5.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™
  • 5.00 ANCC
  • 5.00 APA
  • 5.00 Document of Attendance

Accreditation Period

Course opens: 
Course expires: 


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