Pathways to Safer Opioid Use


Pathways to Safer Opioid Use is an interactive training that promotes the appropriate, safe, and effective use of opioids to manage chronic pain. It’s based on the opioid-related recommendations in the National Action Plan for Adverse Drug Event Prevention (ADE Action Plan).

In this training, you will learn how to:

  • Apply health literacy strategies to help patients understand how to prevent opioid-related adverse drug events (ADEs)
  • Identify risk factors, opioid medications, and interactions that increase people’s risk for opioid-related ADEs
  • Use a multidisciplinary, team-based approach for treating patients with chronic pain
  • Combine the principles of the Health Literate Care Model and the biopsychosocial model of chronic pain management through case study examples

This training is intended for:

  • Physicians, nurses, and pharmacists
  • Public health professionals, including health educators and interdisciplinary public health practitioners
  • Students in health-related fields

Preview the Course

Pathways begins with a 7-minute video that provides background on the principles of health literacy, patient communication, and opioid-related ADEs that are addressed in the training.

To watch the video, go to the course page and click the arrow on the right-hand side of the screen.

Take the Course

Pathways takes about an hour to complete. During the training, you will make decisions in the roles of 4 different characters (primary care physician, nurse, pharmacist, and patient) who have the potential to prevent opioid-related ADEs.

Please note:

  • It’s not possible to save your place if you need to stop before finishing the training, so be sure to allow time to complete the training all at once.
  • When registering for the course, you will leave, enter a non-federal website, and see an optional evaluation registration page.

Register for the course

View the course disclosures and disclaimers.

Get CPE or CME Credit

If you would like to receive continuing education credit after completing Pathways, please complete the appropriate post-test.

For pharmacists:

For medical professionals:

Evaluate the Course

The American Public Health Association (APHA) is conducting an outcome evaluation of Pathways to help us ensure that the course is useful and beneficial for all health care professionals and helps to prevent adverse drug events from opioids.

APHA is collecting feedback through a knowledge and skills assessment survey. This evaluation will provide valuable feedback and inform future updates to the course and similar eLearning trainings.

This evaluation is completely voluntary. Opting out of the evaluation will not prevent participants from obtaining CPE or CME, or from accessing the training.

If you have any questions about the evaluation, please contact