A project training North Dakota pharmacists to screen and talk to patients about opioid use disorder
Many patients prescribed opioids don't fully appreciate the risks of opioid use. Started in 2018, the ONE Rx (Opioid and Naloxone Education) program in North Dakota trains pharmacists to screen patients for opioid use disorder (OUD) and educate them on the safe use of opioid medications. This puts pharmacists on the front lines of preventing OUD as well as early intervention, should warning signs of misuse come to their attention during conversations with patients. Naloxone is distributed to individuals who are identified as high risk for overdose.
One Rx is a joint project of the North Dakota (ND) State University School of Pharmacy, the ND Department of Human Services, the ND Board of Pharmacy, and the ND Pharmacists Association.
An evaluation found that the program has been successfully implemented as planned. Thus far, the program has enrolled 67 pharmacies and trained over 240 pharmacists, who in turn found that nearly 20% of patients they counseled were at high risk for an accidental opioid overdose. Pharmacists engaged 18% of patients in interventions to encourage safe opioid use.