Course Summary

Chronic pain and the development of a substance use disorder have become critical issues in healthcare, requiring all members of the interdisciplinary health team to have current training to identify and intervene in the treatment of substance use, especially given the current opioid use and overdose crisis worldwide. In June 2023, the DEA MATE Act requirement for 8 hours of training for prescribers, including Nurse Practitioners, went into effect for those seeking to obtain or renew a DEA license. Important aspects of this training include improved knowledge of substance use disorders, specifically opioid use disorders, basic pain management with a focus on the management of opioid therapy, and the laws and regulations related to controlled substance prescribing.

Course Format


Course Syllabus

  • Introduction
  • Substance Use Disorders
    • Definitions
    • Diagnostic Criteria
    • Epidemiology and Risk Factors
    • Standardized Approaches to Screening, Intervention, and Referral for treatment of a Substance Use Disorder (SBIRT)
    • Common Barriers to SUD Care
  • Opioid Use Disorder (OUD)
    • Epidemiology of Opioid Overdose
    • Definition of OUD
    • Risk Factors
    • Treatment Barriers and Beliefs
    • Screening Tools
    • Treatment Settings
    • Payor Priorities versus Guideline Recommendations
  • Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)
    • Definitions
    • Diagnostic Criteria
    • Epidemiology
    • Impact of Risky Drinking
    • Treatment for Acute Alcohol Withdrawal
    • Long-term Treatment of AUD and Pharmacologic Agents
    • Psychosocial Therapies
  • Tobacco and Cannabis Use Disorders
    • Epidemiology of Tobacco Use
    • Diagnosis and Treatment of Tobacco Use Disorder
    • Epidemiology of Cannabis Use
    • Diagnosis and Treatment of Cannabis Use Disorder
    • Emerging Forms and Legalization of Cannabis in the US
    • Risks of Cannabis Use in Special Populations
  • Stimulant and Sedative Use Disorders
    • Epidemiology
    • Legal and Illegal Stimulants
    • Prescription Sedatives
    • Screening
    • Treatment
    • Stimulant and Sedative Use Disorders in Special Populations
    • Reducing the Risk of Diversion of Prescription Stimulants
  • Basics of Pain Management
    • Definitions
    • Pathophysiology of Pain
    • Biopsychosocial Model
    • Pain Assessment Tools
    • Pain Management
    • Analgesic Medication
    • Stepped Approach to Analgesic Pain Management
    • Non-opioid Medications for Pain
  • Controlled Substance Prescribing
    • Legislation/Regulation: Practice and Controlled Substances
    • Disciplinary Actions
    • DEA Licensure Requirements and Responsibilities
    • Required Elements of Controlled Substance Prescribing
    • Telemedicine Rules and Regulations
    • Opioid Prescribing Cap Laws
    • Risk Mitigation Strategies
    • Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs (PDMP)
    • Drug Testing
  • Managing Opioid Therapy
    • Mechanism of Action and Analgesic Effect
    • Evaluation and Mitigation of Risk
    • Opioid Dosing Initiation, Reassessment, and Tapers
  • Summary


Heather Zaluski, MD, MA

Heather Zaluski is a Board Certified Child Psychiatrist who has been living and practicing in Montana since 2007. She attended medical school at Michigan State University, where she graduated with Honors (AΩA) in 2002. She completed General and Child Psychiatry training at University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Dr. Zaluski worked at Shodair Children’s Hospital in Helena for 15 years, including as the Medical Director from 2019 – 2022. She is active in the American Academy of Child Psychiatry, where she is a co-chair of the Inpatient, Residential and Partial Hospitalization Committee. Dr. Zaluski is the owner and sole proprietor of HZMD Consulting, a private psychiatric consultation practice. Dr. Zaluski has presented on the state and national levels on a variety of topics in child psychiatry, including residential treatment, trauma informed care, suicide prevention, and psychopharmacology. 

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