Event 5: Substance Use

Substance Use Resources

Access substance use disorder (SUD) diagnostic tools here.

Potentially Fatal Interactions

Learn why the concurrent use of opioids, benzodiazepines and/or alcohol may be potentially fatal by clicking this link:


Aspects of Peter James’ Substance Use

Daily Use of Oxycodone

Peter James says, “You know, it’s not (the) max (dose) every day. But, uh, close to it.”

Length of Time Taking Oxycodone

The nurse practitioner asks Peter James if he's been taking oxycodone for a while.

Peter James says, “Yeah and I know it, it messes up my system, you know. I mean, uh.”

“Constipation,” suggests the nurse practitioner.

“Constipation is the worst,” agrees Peter James. “Yeah, Colace helps.”

Non-Addictive Pain Medication

Dr. Kent asks Peter James if he's open to non-addictive pain medication.

Peter James replies, “Oh yeah. I mean, you know, let’s get as natural as we can.”

“Because there are a lot of medicines that help this particular type of pain that don’t carry a big addiction burden. And so that might be an opportunity for you,” Dr. Kent says.

“Okay,” Peter James replies. “I wasn’t aware that there were other effective medications that weren’t addictive.”

Frequency of Alcohol Intake

According to Peter James, “I rarely drink.”

Frequency of Benzodiazepine Intake

According to Peter James, “I don’t use any benzodiazepines.”

Note: The combined use of opioids and alcohol can increase the risk of respiratory depression. Learn more by clicking here.

Question: Based on the responses above, does Peter James have substance use disorder?

Correct. In order to diagnose Peter James with substance use disorder, he needs greater than or equal to two DSM criteria for diagnosis in the last 12 months.

Consider Prescribing Naloxone

Regardless of whether Peter James is at risk for a substance use disorder, consider prescribing Naloxone to help prevent opioid overdose.

Learn more about prescribing Naloxone.

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