Substance Use Disorder for Nurses

Pittsburgh, PA US
January 29, 2024

Persons living with substance use disorder (SUD) increasingly fill U.S. hospital emergency departments and inpatient units for care directly and indirectly related to SUD. Each of these hospital visits represents an opportunity to engage individuals in goals related to their substance use and health, regardless of the patient’s reason for presentation. Unfortunately, those living with SUD feel stigmatized by the healthcare system and are hesitant to trust healthcare providers and healthcare providers often hold negative attitudes towards those with SUD. Due to this situation, there is a need for skilled, compassionate providers to engage hesitant patients. Hospitals have not met the demand by equipping themselves to meet medical and behavioral health needs of those living with SUD. Thus, continuing education for healthcare professionals working with patients with addiction is paramount, as pre-licensure medical and nursing training fail to address this need.

January 29, 2024 8:30a-2:30pm UPMC Mercy, Ermire 11502

Target Audience


Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, learners will be able to:

  • Describe the basic definition of addiction and substance use disorder
  • List the current substances of use contributing to SUD crisis in SWPA and their methods of use
  • Describe the impacts on physical, social and emotional health of each substance
  • Apply basic principles of care to manage alcohol, benzodiazepine and opioid withdrawals
  • Initiate and continue an empathetic conversation regarding a patient’s substance use
  • Understand the role of stigma in addressing SUD
  • Describe the various evidence-based treatments for SUD
  • Describe the resources available in hospitals and communities for patients with SUD 
Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 6.00 ANCC
    UPMC Provider Unit is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation
  • 6.00 Attendance
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Event starts: 
01/29/2024 - 8:30am EST
Event ends: 
01/29/2024 - 2:30pm EST
UPMC Mercy
1400 Locust Street
Ermire 11502
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
United States

Todd Harvey, MSN, RN, CARN is a Programmatic Nurse Specialist in Addiction Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), Mercy Hospital, providing substance use disorder clinical education to inpatient and emergency care clinicians. Prior to this role, Todd was an assistant nurse manager as well as a bedside registered nurse on the inpatient withdrawal management and short-term rehabilitation unit at UPMC McKeesport. Prior to nursing, Todd served in various positions on local, state and national levels in HIV prevention. Todd received his Masters of Science in Nursing Education from Capella University in 2023. Todd received his Bachelors of Science in Nursing from the University of Pittsburgh in 2018. Todd completed a Masters of Arts in Sociology from the University of Texas at Austin in 2007, and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, Spanish and Latin American Studies from the University of Pittsburgh in 2002.

Alicia Fairman is a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor, A Certified Mental Health First Aid instructor, and has been a professional in the behavioral health field since 1994. Currently, Alicia is a Program Manager with LifeSolutions Employee Assistance Program, a division of Workpartners. Alicia joined the LifeSolutions team in June of 2017.  Alicia facilitates trainings, provides leadership consultation, and assists in disruptive event management. Alicia is also the substance use disorder specialist for the EAP. Prior to working with LifeSolutions EAP, Alicia served as a leader in the field of substance use disorder treatment and rehabilitation. Her passion in life and work centers around helping people to become the best version of themselves possible. Alicia expands her ability to support others through a small private practice. Alicia earned her Bachelor’s degree in Vocational Rehabilitation at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and her Master’s degree in Counselor Education at the Pennsylvania State University. Alicia also earned her School Counselor Certification from Chatham University.


Conflict of Interest Disclosure:  No members of the planning committee, speakers, presenters, authors, content reviewers and/or anyone else in a position to control the content of this education activity have relevant financial relationships with any entity producing, marketing, re-selling, or distributing health care goods or services, used on, or consumed by, patients to disclose.


In support of improving patient care, the University of Pittsburgh is jointly accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC), to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

Nursing (CNE)

The maximum number of hours awarded for this Continuing Nursing Education activity is 6.0 contact hours.

Available Credit

  • 6.00 ANCC
    UPMC Provider Unit is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation
  • 6.00 Attendance
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