Dr. Dina Hewett is now the director of the Brenau School of Nursing.

Brenau University School of Nursing Director Dina Hewett.

Brenau Takes Pledge for New Opioid Education Initiative

May 2, 2016
Brenau Staff

School of Nursing Supports New CDC Prescription Drug Standards

Brenau University is one of 191 colleges, universities and medical schools across the United States joining the American Association of Colleges of Nursing in the fight against prescription drug abuse.

Brenau University’s School of Nursing has pledged to follow new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines announced in March for prescribing opioids for chronic pain management. The AACN is partnering with the White House Champions of Change program to promote the teaching of the voluntary CDC standards to advanced practice registered nursing students.

The new guidelines advise practitioners to establish treatment goals with patients, develop medication discontinuation strategies and more closely monitor the benefits and potential harms to patients as prescription drug doses increase.

“We recognize that opioid abuse is a major health crisis and that we need to make sure our students are educated on what the new guidelines are, and insure that they have a complete understanding of them,” said Brenau School of Nursing Director Dina Hewett.

Although the initiative largely affects the university’s graduate family nurse practitioner students, Hewett said the School of Nursing will also implement some of the new standards in its undergraduate nursing programs.

According to CDC data, the annual number of fatal opioid overdoses in the U.S. has quadrupled since 2000, with more than 28,000 people dying in 2014. In Georgia last year, more than 1,200 people died from overdoses on potent prescription opioids, such as OxyContin and Fentanyl.

“Opioid abuse is one of the most critical issues not just in the medical profession, but all of U.S. society,” Hewett said. “Implementing these standards is crucial to saving lives.”