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X-Express: Buprenorphine Prescribing for Beginners


Published Date: 10/07/2022

CE Credit: No CE


This course will review the overall goals and principles of buprenorphine treatment among people with opioid use disorder (OUD). It will review the new buprenorphine practice guidelines and describe how they have created flexibility for the Notification of Intent to prescribe buprenorphine process. Additionally, this course will summarize the pharmacology of buprenorphine compared with other medications for OUD; review best practices for initiation, dose stabilization, maintenance and discontinuation; and discuss clinical cases and recommendations for how to approach patients in various clinical settings.


Jessica Merlin,MD, MPHJessica Merlin, MD, MPH, received her MD from the University of Pennsylvania. She stayed at Penn for her residency in internal medicine and fellowship in infectious diseases, and then completed a palliative care fellowship at Mt. Sinai. In 2011, Dr. Merlin joined the faculty at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Dr. Merlin is the medical director of the Pain and Palliative Care Clinic at UAB’s HIV patient-centered medical home. Her research focuses on chronic pain in individuals with HIV, and more generally, individuals with comorbid mental illness and addiction. She currently holds a K23 career development award from the National Institutes of Health to develop a behavioral intervention for chronic pain tailored to individuals with HIV. Her program of research also includes the pathophysiology of chronic pain in individuals with HIV, including investigating pain sensitivity and the role of inflammation, the clinical epidemiology of chronic pain in individuals with HIV, and management approaches to concerning behaviors in patients prescribed long-term opioid therapy.
Katie Fitzgerald Jones,APN, ACHPN

Katie Fitzgerald Jones, APN, ACHPN is a Palliative and Addiction Nurse Practitioner at VA Boston Healthcare System and PhD candidate at Boston College Connell School of Nursing. Her clinical and research interests include improving pain management, quality of life, and enhancing opioid safety in individuals with cancer and substance use disorder. Her past clinical experience includes developing a sustainable Palliative Care Nurse Practitioner Fellowship at Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, serving as the Palliative Nurse Director, and creating an innovative Palliative Care Program for older adults. Katie has been an active member of the Harvard Medical School Center for Palliative Care for the past ten years. Her research is funded by the Foundation of Addiction Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing, and the National Institute of Nursing Research Predoctoral Fellowship Award (F31). Katie is also a Veterans Health Jonas Mental Health Scholar and American Academy of Nursing Jonas Health Policy Scholar, advocating nationally for equitable policy solutions that meet the needs of people living with chronic pain and addiction. She has authored several manuscripts and book chapters on the intersection between palliative care and substance use disorders and has spoken nationally on various topics. 

Continuing Education Credit Information