Opiates: Preventing Addiction and Managing Pain, An Online Course

DENTISTS: Would you like to improve your ability to manage patients’ pain with prescription medications without enabling their abuse?

DENTAL TEAM MEMBERS: Would you like to better understand drug addiction and gain helpful strategies for managing patients with a potential for addiction?

The University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy and School of Dentistry have come together to bring you a convenient new online learning opportunity. In this 3-credit continuing education course, you will gain insights on the most common sources of prescription opioid pain relievers and on best practices in the management of acute pain in patients with a history of addiction.

Course instructor, Dr. Angela Cortese, will also introduce you to a number of practical patient assessment and management tools including: 1) the American Psychiatric Association’s Opioid Use Disorder Checklist, 2) FDA guidelines on disposal of unused medicines, 3) Current Opioid Misuse Measure, 4) Minnesota’s Prescription Monitoring Program, 5) an assessment tool to determine the level of patient monitoring required, and 6) controlled substance patient agreement forms.


At the completion of this online learning activity, you will be able to:

  • Define substance abuse and dependence
  • Differentiate between drug addiction and tolerance
  • Explain the basic physiology of addiction
  • Describe the impact of opioid abuse on the U.S. population
  • Discuss available tools for assessing the benefits and risks of using opioid analgesics in specific patients
  • Explain the purpose and appropriate use of prescription drug monitoring programs
  • Discuss ways to identify a drug-seeking patient
  • Identify strategies for treating acute pain in patients with a history of addiction

Original release date: June, 2015. Expiration date: June, 2018

Who Should Enroll

Dentists interested in improving their ability to manage patients’ pain with prescription medications without enabling their abuse.

Dental therapists, dental hygienists and dental assistants who would like to better understand addiction and learn helpful patient management strategies for patients with a potential for abuse.

Educational Methods

Self-guided instruction via recorded lectures, quizzes, and required and supplemental readings.

Obtaining CDE credit

Successful course completion includes passing two section quizzes with a score of at least 70%. The University of Minnesota Continuing Dental Education program will issue your continuing dental education credit verification upon confirmation of successful course completion from the Continuing Pharmacy Education program.


Angela M. Cortese, Pharm.D., Teaching Specialist, University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy. Dr. Cortese has been a clinical pharmacist in the area of Emergency Medicine and has worked for Hennepin Regional Poison Center. She now teaches undergraduate, graduate and professional students at the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy. Dr. Cortese holds a specialty certification in pharmacotherapy from the Board of Pharmaceutical Specialties. Her instructional interests include pharmacotherapy, toxicology and critical care/emergency medicine.

The University of Minnesota School of Dentistry has an obligation to disseminate new knowledge related to dental practice. Some programs offered through Continuing Dental Education may introduce materials, techniques or product references that are subject to debate. Sponsorship of courses by the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry does not necessarily imply endorsement of specific philosophies, procedures or products by this institution.

Recognizing that you may be learning about new procedures, techniques and materials that you may not yet be familiar with, we ask that you take every precaution when implementing these new materials and techniques into your practice.

Cancellation policy

Please note: Once you have registered for an online course, there is no refund. Please review the details of the course first, before making the non-refundable registration payment.

How to register

Access the Opiates: Preventing Addiction and Managing Pain course and select the Registration & Fees tab to register.

Contact the University of Minnesota Continuing Pharmacy Education Office at 612-625-8616 or 800-633-6638 for all registration and course-related questions.




3 hours

Minnesota Credits
2 fundamental
1 core (Diagnosis & Treatment Planning)