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Effective Prescribing of Opioids for Chronic Pain (EPOCH)

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About Effective Prescribing of Opioids for Chronic Pain (EPOCH)

Effective Prescribing of Opioids for Chronic Pain (formerly “Safer Opioid Prescribing”) is among the longest running opioid CPD programs in the country. It was the first accredited program to offer a curriculum that reflected the updated 2017 Canadian Guideline for Opioids for Chronic Non-Cancer Pain. 


Through engaging discussions and practical activities, the program’s three webinars and capstone workshop ensure that physicians and health care providers have the most up-to-date skills to effectively support people who live with chronic pain who are prescribed opioids.  


By attending the webinars, learners will better be able to: 

  • Employ multi-modal approaches to complex chronic pain 

  • Initiate & manage effective opioid therapy 

  • Prevent & address opioid use disorder. 


In addition, learners will go on to complete the capstone workshop and will be better able to: 

  • Communicate and collaborate with patients and other health care providers to optimize patient care. 


Target audience 


This program is designed for health care professionals from multiple disciplines looking to improve their understanding of complex chronic pain management. It will benefit those who wish to become familiar with important opioid prescribing practice tools, the Canadian Guidelines for Opioids, and strategies for effectively managing patients with complex chronic pain. 

Program Format

Effective Prescribing of Opioids for Chronic Pain (EPOCH) has two components: three, two-hour webinars and a day-long workshop. The webinars are focused on increasing knowledge and building essential skills, whereas the workshop will help learners deepen skills and practice.  

Webinars are NOT recorded. Participants who fail to attend a webinar will not be permitted to proceed in the program. 

Learners must complete all webinars and the day-long workshop to receive accreditation.


The Atlantic Mentorship Network-Pain & Addiction and Doctors Nova Scotia has subsidized a portion of the program costs for Nova Scotia physicians, medical residents, and nurse practitioners. The course is valued at $1,046.50.


Participant costs include the three webinars and the day-long in-person workshop.

Physicians: $500

Nurse Practitioners: $250.00

Medical Residents: $200.00

Registration is limited to 24 participants.

Webinar Series: This Group Learning program has been certified by the College of Family Physicians of Canada for up to 13.5 MainPro+ credits, 2 credits-per-hour.

Workshop: This Group Learning program has been certified by the College of Family Physicians of Canada for up to 20.25 MainPro+ credits, 3 credits-per-hour.


Program Component 1: Three interactive webinars  


Webinar 1: Assessing and managing complex chronic pain 
Tuesday, February 28, 2023 at 7:00PM-9:00PM AST

Learning outcomes:  

  • Recognize the complex lived experience of chronic pain. 

  • Complete a comprehensive assessment of patients with chronic pain. 

  • Implement multi-modal approaches to chronic pain management, including opioids where indicated. 

  • Evaluate the utility of different opioids to treat chronic pain. 


Webinar 2: Prescribing opioids for chronic pain 

Thursday, March 30, 2023 at 7:00PM-9:00PM AST 
Learning outcomes: 

  • Initiate opioids for the management of chronic pain. 

  • Evaluate, monitor and support people living with chronic pain who use opioids. 

  • Taper, switch and discontinue opioid therapy when risks outweigh benefits.  

  • Collaborate with other healthcare professionals to support patients with managing chronic pain. 


Webinar 3: Opioids use disorder in primary care 

Wednesday, April 26, 2023 at 7:00PM-9:00PM AST
Learning outcomes:  

  • Recognize your responsibility to address opioid use disorder (OUD) in your patients. 

  • Diagnose OUD. 

  • Explore how stigma affects people living with OUD. 

  • Discuss OUD treatment with your patients, especially opioid agonist therapy. 


Program component 2: In-person Workshop, “Challenging Cases in Opioid Use and Misuse”  

This in-person small group problem based interactive workshop builds on the knowledge and expertise shared in the first three webinars. 


Saturday, , 202 (Halifax location being finalized)

Learning outcomes:  

  • Recognize and address possible risks and complications of opioid prescribing. 

  • Implement clinical skills for safer prescribing of opioids. 

  • Identify Opioid Use Disorder and outline treatment options. 

  • Effectively communicate with chronic pain patients. 

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