Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)



First Advisor

Dr. Sarah Cartwright, DNP, MSN-PH, BAM, RN-BC, CAPA, FASPAN

Second Advisor

Dr. Greg Hites, DNP, FNP-BC


Practice Problem: Accidental overdose is a continued concern for those who are prescribed opioids, and it is essential that healthcare members intensify prevention and response measures in order to prevent death or misuse from this medication.

PICOT: The PICOT question that guided this project was: “In adult patients at an outpatient chronic pain management clinic (P), how does development and implementation of a safe opioid risk-reduction office policy (I), compared to usual practice (C), improve patient rates of naloxone availability and health literacy (O) over eight weeks (T)?”

Evidence: The CDC’s Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain, the Surgeon General’s Advisory on Naloxone and Opioid Overdose, and the U.S Department of Health and Human Services website were used to gather evidence-based components for information and practice changes.

Intervention: This project created a safe opioid risk-reduction strategy in the form of a new office protocol that ensured naloxone was received with instruction on what to do in the event of an overdose or life-threatening respiratory reaction to opioids and other safety information. The providers assessed the change in knowledge by using the teach back method.

Outcome: The results showed improvement in the availability of naloxone as a reversal agent as well as increased understanding of safe opioid storage, disposal, and drug interactions.

Conclusion: The manuscript reports barriers, successes, and challenges discovered during the project. The recommendations can be applied to other outpatient clinic sites to enhance the safety of all patients who manage their chronic pain with the use of prescription opioids.


Scholarly project submitted to the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Nursing Practice.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.