Opioid Diversion: How, Where, and What Can We Do About It?

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Release Date: December 13, 2012
Expiration Date: December 13, 2013

Expected time to complete this activity as designed: 60 minutes
There are no fees for participating in or receiving credit for this online activity.

Program Overview

Dr. Lynn Webster will lead a faculty based discussion of common, as well as evolving methods for opioid diversion and, through examples, exemplify how participants should apply this information in their own practice setting to reduce the potential for diversion. Through concise, focused summaries, participants will gain a greater understanding of techniques for identifying patients who may be attempting to obtain opioids for nonmedical purposes and/or criminal intent, and to differentiate these individuals from legitimate pain patients who are potential candidates for opioid analgesics.

Target Audience

This activity is designed for physicians, pharmacists, physician assistants, nurses, and other health care professionals who have an interest in enhancing their clinical skills in pain management.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this educational activity, participants should be able to:

  • Differentiate between opioid addiction and diversion, and the impact each can have on the clinical practice of pain management.
  • List the most commonly diverted opioid medications, and identify three methods commonly used for diverting opioids for nonmedical use.
  • Outline the differential roles of the multidisciplinary treatment team in identifying potential opioid diversion, as well as key communication strategies that may be implemented among team members to improve identification of actual diversion.
  • Integrate processes into clinical practice for identifying potential opioid diversion, as well as processes that include checks and balances for differentiating actual diversion from legitimate prescriptions.


Opioid Diversion: How, Where, and What Can We Do About It?
Panel Discussion Lead by:
Lynn R. Webster, MD, FACPM, FASAM ‒ Moderator; Commander John Burke; John J. Coleman, PhD; Kathryn L. Hahn, PharmD, DAAPM, CPE

Instructions for Participation and Credit

This activity is eligible for credit through December 13, 2013. After this date, this activity will expire and no further credit will be awarded.

  1. Read the target audience, learning objectives, and faculty disclosures.
  2. You may be asked to complete a short pre-test before accessing the educational content. This must be completed in order to move forward in the activity.
  3. Complete the educational content as designed.
  4. Complete the post-test. To receive a certificate, you must receive a passing score of 70%.
  5. Complete the activity evaluation survey to provide feedback and information useful for future programming.
  6. Certificates may be printed immediately after successfully completing the post-test and activity evaluation.

Faculty Biographies

Lynn R. Webster, MD, FACPM, FASAM
Medical Director
Co-Founder, LifeSource
Salt Lake City, Utah

Dr. Lynn Webster earned his medical degree from the University of Nebraska and completed his residency in the University of Utah’s Department of Anesthesiology. He is medical director at CRILifetree in Salt Lake City, Utah and is also the co-founder of LifeSource, a non-profit foundation established in 2006 to provide education about pain-related issues as well as fund and conduct research. LifeSource’s first project, “Zero Unintentional Deaths,” was developed to educate physicians, chronic pain sufferers, and all communities about unintentional overdose deaths relating to methadone and other prescription medications.

Dr. Webster is board certified in anesthesiology and pain medicine with additional certification in addiction medicine; he is currently on the Board of Directors and serves as treasurer for the American Academy of Pain Medicine. He is past president of the Utah Academy of Pain Medicine and an active national spokesman for improving access to pain therapies.

Dr. Webster lectures extensively on the subject of preventing opioid abuse and criminal diversion in chronic pain patients. He has authored over 100 scientific abstracts, journal articles and recently published the book, Avoiding Opioid Abuse While Managing Pain: A Guide for Practitioners.

Commander John Burke
President ‒ National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators
Owner & President ‒ Pharmaceutical Diversion Education Inc.
Warren County Drug Task Force
Lebanon, Ohio

Commander John Burke was with the Cincinnati Police Division for 32 years and is now the Commander of the Warren County Ohio Drug Task Force. He formed the Police Division’s Pharmaceutical Diversion Squad (PDS) in 1990 and commanded that unit until October 1999 when he retired to help address the drug problems of a neighboring county. The PDS was considered by many to be the top pharmaceutical diversion unit in the United States. Law enforcement officers from across the country have trained under the guidance of his investigators. The PDS was featured on NBC’s Dateline for their efforts in the pursuit of health care professionals involved in the illegal diversion of pharmaceutical drugs from health care facilities. The segment highlighted the tremendous success made by the squad in identifying and combating drug diversion in hospitals, nursing homes, and home health care.

Commander Burke currently oversees the Warren County Drug Task Force and the Southwest Ohio High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA). This task force employees 17 individuals representing federal (FBI, DEA, ATF), state (BCI), Ohio National Guard, and local law enforcement agencies that come together to pursue mid to upper level drug traffickers throughout the United States.

Commander Burke has conducted hundreds of presentations on the subject of pharmaceutical diversion. He has the ability to help a wide array of attendees identify the problems, find the solutions, and institute a preventative program. The message is conveyed in a simple, common sense manner, satisfying the needs of the particular audience being addressed. The utilization of a variety of audio visuals with touches of humor makes the presentations interesting and enjoyable.

Commander Burke has written numerous articles that have been seen in health professional, law enforcement, and human resource publications across the country. He is the author of a monthly column that appears in Pharmacy Times magazine, and the editor of Rxnews, an Internet list server dealing with issues of prescription drug abuse. He is the current president of the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators.

John J. Coleman, PhD
President, Drug Watch International

Dr. John Coleman served 32 years as a Special Agent of the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) before retiring in 1998 as one of its top management officials. He began his career in 1965 as an entry-level undercover drug agent on the streets of New York City and went on to eventually hold several of the most important positions in the agency. As assistant administrator for operations, the third highest position in the DEA, Dr. Coleman supervised an annual operating budget of $816 million and managed the activities of over 7,000 employees in 19 domestic divisions and 75 overseas offices. He has extensive executive and policy making experience at the uppermost levels of government service, has served at the highest rank (SES-06) of the Federal Senior Executive Service, and has also served as the assistant administrator for Operations, the highest non-presidentially appointed position in the DEA. Dr. Coleman is currently president of the Board of Directors of Drug Watch International.

Kathryn L. Hahn, PharmD, DAAPM, CPE
Affiliate Faculty
Oregon State University College of Pharmacy
Springfield, Oregon

Dr. Kathryn Hahn received her pharmacy degree from the University of Southern California, is credentialed as a pain practitioner with the American Academy of Pain Management, and is a certified pain educator. She practices community pharmacy with an emphasis on pain management in Springfield, Oregon. Dr. Hahn is an affiliate faculty member at Oregon State University College of Pharmacy, chairs the Oregon Pain Management Commission, serves on the board of the American Academy of Pain Management as chair of the advocacy committee, and is past president of the Pain Society of Oregon. She has published numerous articles, is a spokesperson for PainSAFE and Good Medicines, Bad Drugs, and is a state pain action leader for the American Pain Foundation. Dr. Hahn speaks both locally and nationally about pain management, its politics, and policy.


Accreditation Statement: MediCom Worldwide, Inc. is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.
Designation Statement: MediCom Worldwide, Inc. designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

MediCom Worldwide, Inc. is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education. This activity is acceptable for 1.0 contact hour of Continuing Education Credit. Universal Activity Number: 827-0000-12-336-H01-P. Knowledge-based CPE activity.

In order for CPE Monitor to authenticate credit, pharmacists/technicians must provide their e-Profile ID number from NABP and date of birth (in MMDD format) when registering for a CPE program. Please make sure to provide this information in your Member Profile accessed through the Member Center on the home page of this site.

Accreditation Statement: MediCom Worldwide, Inc., 101 Washington Street, Morrisville, PA 19067 is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP11380. MediCom designates this CNE activity for 1.0 contact hour. Program Number: 12-336-301


As an organization accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE) and California State Board of Registered Nursing, MediCom Worldwide, Inc. requires everyone who is a position to control the content of an educational activity to disclose all relevant financial relationships with any commercial interest. The ACCME defines “relevant financial relationships” as financial relationships in any amount, occurring within the past 12 months, including financial relationships of a spouse or life partner, that could create a conflict of interest. Accordingly, the following disclosures were made.

Faculty Disclosures

Dr. Lynn Webster has received honoraria related to formal advisory activities and as a consultant from American Academy of Pain Management, American Board of Pain Medicine, Boston Scientific Corporation, Covidien, Iroko Pharmaceuticals, LLC, Medtronic, Inc., Nektar, Pfizer Inc., and Salix Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Commander John Burke and Dr. Kathryn Hahn have disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

Dr. John Coleman has received honoraria related to formal advisory activities from Covidien and Meda Pharmaceuticals Inc., as well as consultant fees from Johnson & Johnson Services, Inc.

Planning Committee Disclosures

The individuals listed below from MediCom Worldwide, Inc. reported the following for this activity: Joan Meyer, RN, MHA, executive director, and Bronwyn Boyes, PharmD, director, have no relevant financial relationships.

Peer Reviewer Disclosure

In accordance with MediCom Worldwide, Inc. policy, all content is reviewed by external independent peer reviewers for balance, objectivity and commercial bias. The peer reviewers have no relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Off-Label Disclosures/Investigational Disclosures

This educational activity may contain discussion of published and/or investigational uses of agents that are not indicated by the FDA. The opinions expressed in the educational activity are those of the faculty. Please refer to the official prescribing information for each product for discussion of approved indications, contraindications, and warnings. Further, attendees/participants should appraise the information presented critically and are encouraged to consult appropriate resources for any product or device mentioned in this program.

Dr. Webster and Dr. Hahn have indicated that they do intend to discuss off-label uses of drugs, mechanical devices, biologics or diagnostics approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in the US.

Dr. Webster, Commander Burke, and Dr. Coleman have indicated that they do not intend to discuss investigational drugs, mechanical devices, biologics or diagnostics not approved by the FDA for use in the US.

Dr. Hahn has indicated that she does intend to discuss investigational drugs, mechanical devices, biologics or diagnostics not approved by the FDA for use in the US.

Commander Burke and Dr. Coleman have indicated that they do not intend to discuss off-label uses of drugs, mechanical devices, biologics or diagnostics approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in the US.

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If you have any questions or concerns regarding this activity, please contact MediCom Worldwide, Inc. at 1-800-408-4242 or email us at info@emergingsolutionsinpain.com.

Provided by MediCom Worldwide, Inc.

This activity is supported by an educational grant from Teva Pharmaceuticals.

©2012 MediCom Worldwide, Inc., 101 Washington St., Morrisville, PA 19067, 800-408-4242.
No portion of this material may be copied or duplicated without the expressed permission of MediCom Worldwide, Inc.

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