The ongoing opioid crisis in Alberta requires a coordinated approach from government, Alberta Health Services, regulated health professionals, and others. Pharmacists are front line health providers working closely with individuals prescribed opiates, in particular those who have the potential for dependence, misuse, addiction, and diversion. Pharmacists are often the most accessible members of individuals’ healthcare team and play a vital role in their medication assessment and management. This includes many strategies including harm reduction.
It is essential that pharmacists adequately assess and monitor individuals using opioid medications and work collaboratively within multidisciplinary teams to optimize health outcomes and minimize harm.
The Standards of Practice for Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians provide a framework for appropriate patient care however, due to the complexity of opioid use, additional guidance and interpretation of the Standards is required.
Adherence to the following guidelines, based on the Standards, is an expectation of practice.