Opioid Overdose, Abuse, Diversion, Dependence, and Addiction

During this session we will review the epidemiology of drug overdoses in the US caused by opioids, with specific attention to data as a result of the COVID pandemic and the rise of the use of synthetic substances, specifically fentanyl. We will define terms involved with substance use including abuse, misuse, diversion, and addiction and will review interventions for substance use disorders in an attempt to reduce harm, thus reducing overdose deaths. Finally we will discuss Recovery-Oriented Systems of Care and the concept of Recovery Capital involved in the process of patients engaging in the recovery process.

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Mel Pohl


Mel Pohl, MD, DFASAM is a Family Practitioner. He is the Senior Medical Consultant of the Pain Recovery Program at The Pointe Malibu Recovery Center. He is certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine (ABAM) and is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Nevada School of Medicine.

He is the author of A Day without Pain, revised edition (Central Recovery Press, 2011) and The Pain Antidote - Stop Suffering from Chronic Pain, Avoid Addiction to Painkillers, and Reclaim Your Life (DaCapo, 2015). Dr. Pohl filmed a show for PBS on chronic pain which aired around the country in 2016.

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