Medical Staff Training

BEST practices for medical providers

MEDICAL Response

Every hospital and medical provider has the opportunity to have a profound impact on the current addiction epidemic (primarily opioid/heroin) by adopting socially-protective procedures; educating staff, patients and the public in addiction, responding to overdose incidents, and in treating patients going through withdrawal; and adopting supportive and helpful responses to individuals presenting with a substance use disorder (SUD). Truth Pharm has protocols in place and can help train medical staff in harm-reduction measures.

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Training offered

Truth Pharm coaches staff:

  • In the science and signs of SUDs.
  • In suitable responses to people with SUDs.
  • In advising patients of personal responsibilityto lock up prescriptions.

Truth Pharm offers physicians:

  • Recommendations for identifying at-risk patients when prescribing opioids.
  • Suggested follow-up procedures for high-risk patients prescribed opioids.

Truth Pharm advises the public:

  • Regarding opioid addiction by displaying posters in prominent locations that outline the risk of addiction associated with narcotic painkillers in preferred responses to people with SUDs.


Truth Pharm works with medical providers to create, adopt and implement their own best practices and protocols. Based on numerous patient surveys and firsthand documented accounts of patients’ experiences with medical providers, Truth Pharm developed the following suggested guidelines for hospitals and medical providers.


Emergency Room Overdose/Withdrawal Treatment Protocols:

  • Never discharge a patient prior to 8 hours after Naloxone administration.
  • Administer medications such as Suboxone to relieve symptoms of withdrawal.
  • After severe withdrawal symptoms have been reduced, perform an onsite assessment of addiction-treatment needs.
  • Provide direct transfer to treatment facility if patient is willing, or make follow-up appointments for patient.
  • Request that the support contact obtain a medical-information release.
  • Provide informational session to support contacts regarding addiction, your assessment of the patient, and potential outcomes.
  • Discuss risks of overdose with patient and support contacts.
  • Educate both patient and support contacts on use of Naloxone and provide a take-home kit or prescription.
  • If treatment is refused, provide referral numbers for treatment on discharge paperwork and assign a recovery advocate.
  • If the patient is an IV user, provide education on “safest use,” provide clean needles on discharge and information on Harm Reduction locations (
  • Provide the patient a safe-sharps disposal box.
  • Determine if children live in the home; if yes, inform Child Protective Services.
  • Follow-up with patient via phone the next day and, if the patient had refused treatment, offer treatment again.

Patient Treatment Protocol:

  • For all patients, perform a Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral-to-Treatment (SBIRT).
  • Prior to prescribing opioid medication, document patient’s history and potential desire to avoid opioid medications.
  • Teach all patients the risks of becoming addicted to opioid medications as well as importance of locking up prescriptions that might be abused by others.
  • Provide opioid medication in tamper-resistant containers
  • Provide abuse deterrent medications.
  • Provide a prescription for Naloxone if there is an opioid user in the household.

Social Protection Protocol:

  • Provide medical lock boxes at cost or free for those who are prescribed opiates, especially when medication will be used for long-term chronic pain.
  • Provide mail-back envelopes for unused medication and information regarding safe disposal locations.
  • Provide safe-sharps disposal take-home boxes for active users.
  • Make substance-use professionals available 24/7 to respond to patient needs.
  • Provide education to staff members about seeking help for themselves, if needed, and provide a safe way for them to do so.
  • Provide prescription drop-off boxes and sharps-disposal access at all branch locations.


For more information or to set up a consultation

contact us