Tech & Health

March 9, 2023

Online course seeks to address opioid deaths in adolescents

Vanderbilt is providing a short online course for educators that seeks to address opioid overdose deaths among adolescents.

Addressing opioid overdose deaths among adolescents, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, in collaboration with the Tennessee Department of Health, is providing a short online course for educators via QuizTime, VUMC’s innovative on-demand learning platform.

The course, “Preparing Educators to Help Save Lives: What You Should Know about Opioid Use and Adolescents,” arrives in three- to five-minute installments via a series of weblinks emailed each weekday, for completion over the web using a mobile device or desktop computer.

“School leaders, teachers, school nurses, coaches and trainers play integral roles in educating students and families about the dangers of drug use and preventing opioid misuse and addiction,” said the course director, Tyler Barrett, MD, MSCI, professor of Emergency Medicine and executive medical director for Emergency Services at VUMC. “We think that all stand to benefit from this focused and convenient primer. Five minutes of your workday could provide you and your colleagues with the knowledge to save a life.”

The course is delivered as two complementary 11-question quizzes. The first half of the course is available now, posing 11 questions for participants on successive weekdays; the second half is to follow in early April. As each email is received, participants have 48 hours to follow a weblink to a single multiple-choice question, typically posing a scenario involving opioids and adolescents and asking which actions are best to take. Upon answering each question, participants are taken to summary guidance on the issue in question, complete with links to reference materials.

Educators and physicians who complete the course can claim credits toward annual continuing education requirements in Tennessee.

According to an April 2022 research letter in JAMA, in 2021 among U.S. adolescents there were an estimated 1,146 overdose deaths, up from 518 adolescent overdose deaths in 2010; and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from mid 2019 through 2021, opioids were involved in 91% of U.S. adolescent overdose deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, opioid overdose deaths among people of all ages in the U.S. reached 80,411 in 2021 (out of 106,699 total drug overdose deaths that year), up from 21,089 opioid overdose deaths in 2010.

VUMC departments and divisions represented by the quiz authors include Anesthesiology, Emergency Medicine, Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Orthopaedic Surgery, Nursing, and Psychiatry.

The authors include Amanda Stone, PhD, Nicole Prendergast, MD, Alex Diamond, DO, MPH, Heather Jackson, PhD, Jordan Rupp, MD, Laura Murphy, MD, Nicholas Jones, MD, Jay Petosa, MD, Lisa Stewart, MEd, MSN, Kristen Gilliland-Meisenheimer, PhD, Dave Marcovitz, MD, and Tyler Barrett, MD.

Other VUMC contributors to the course include Brian Allen, MD, associate professor of Anesthesiology, Bonnie Miller, MD, professor of Medical Education and Administration, Kim Garvey, PhD, research instructor in Anesthesiology, and Lori Deitte, MD, professor of Radiology and Radiological Sciences and vice president for Continuous Professional Development.

For more information, see the course enrollment webpage.