The Harvard Medical School Global Academy Opioid Use Disorder Education Program

Program Overview

The Opioid Use Disorder Education Program (OUDEP) is an accredited, free, online medical education program for the identification and management of opioid disorder. This program is designed for nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, physicians and other healthcare professionals collaborating to treat patients with substance use disorder.

OUDEP program directors Sarah Wakeman, MD, Joji Suzuki, MD and Colleen LaBelle, MSN, RN-BC, CARN provide an overview of the OUDEP course structure and content.

Program Structure

Three courses make up the Opioid Use Disorder Education Program (OUDEP). They are each composed of 8 units and can be taken in any order. This project was funded in part with Federal funds from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract No. HHSN271201500070C.


Understanding Addiction focuses on the fundamentals regarding the nature of addiction including the epidemiology of opioid use disorder, the chronic nature of OUD, the differences between dependence and use disorder, and the neurobiology behind addiction. It also looks at the changing perceptions and current stigmas surrounding opioid use disorder.

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Identification, Counseling, and Treatment of OUD focuses on best practices and treatment of OUD with different medications in addition to psychosocial approaches. It also addresses co-occurring psychiatric disorder as well as preventing and treating overdose.

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Collaborative Care Approaches for the Management of OUD focuses on strategies that include provider roles and regulatory requirements, patient evaluation and education, and transitioning between medications. It also addresses potential misuse, relapse, and safer use, as well as caring for pregnant women and other special populations with OUD.

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