Safe & Compassionate Opioid Tapering

This module is intended to address the opioid-specific education requirements under Maine Public Law Chapter 488. Maine’s new opioid prescribing law requires providers to limit the daily opioid dosages of chronic pain patients. But how can providers meet this legal requirement while also limiting their patients’ distress? This online learning module reviews why tapering is important, common tapering scenarios, techniques for effectively and compassionately tapering opioid dosages, and office workflows around tapering.


Learning Objectives:

At the end of this module, participants will:

  • Understand the clinical rationale/imperative of tapering high dose opioids
  • Anticipate barriers and challenges in tapering.
  • Be exposed to two approaches to tapering.
  • Learn how to do tapering in primary care practices and be provided with examples of workflows.
  • Be aware of when patients should be referred to specialists and community organizations for help.

Intended Audience:

All Maine Clinicians

Module Structure:

This module is self-paced and available to any user that registers with the Learning Lab. The estimated time to complete is approximately 90 minutes. This module will be eligible to grant 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Continuing Medical Education (CME) Credits.

The module will consist of multiple sub-sections or units and will contain various elements, including hyperlinks to readings and web resources, video lessons,  and pre-and post-assessments needed for CME accreditation.

Duration & Fee:

  • Estimated Time to Complete: 1.5 hours

(note: the module is divided into short digestible units [10-20 mins] which can be completed in small increments)

  • Registration Fee: FREE for Maine Clinicians
  • CME Credits Offered: 1.5

Hardware/Software Requirements:

  • Computer with Internet connection
  • Current version of Chrome, Firefox or Safari browser. You must have javascript enabled.
  • The quiz tool within the online modules are not fully compatible with smartphones or tablets. In order to avoid issues, such as answers not being recorded, we recommend using a computer to complete the pre- and post-tests.

Assessment and Grading:

This learning module begins with a Pre-Test that will test your knowledge and allow you to gauge your baseline understanding of the topics to be covered. Your pre-test score will not count toward your overall grade. At the end of the module, there is a Post-Test that will determine your final grade. A comparison of your Pre-Test score and Post-Test score will help to assess how much knowledge you’ve gained. You will have three attempts to complete the Post-Test. Your score must be 75% or better in order to receive a certificate for CME credit. Please complete the evaluation survey at the conclusion of the learning module.

This activity qualifies for 1.5 CME credits of the 3 CME credit requirement for opioid medication education found in P.L. 2015, Chapter 488, Maine’s recent legislation to address the opioid drug abuse crisis.

To Obtain CME Credits:

  • Complete the entire learning module.
  • Complete the Pre-Test, Post Test, and Evaluation Survey at the end of the module.
  • You must earn a score of 75% or higher on the Post-Test in order to qualify for CME credits. You will have three attempts to complete the Post-Test.
  • After confirming that the entire learning module is complete and you have received a score of 75% or higher on the Post-Test, a generic certificate of completion will be displayed and available for you for download.
  • The official CME Documentation Form will be available to download from within the evaluation survey, after you answer all the questions and enter in your contact information.

Table of Contents:

  • Introduction
  • Pre-Assessment
  • Why taper?
  • Tapering Opioids in Primary Care
  • Difficult Conversations and starting to formulate a taper plan  Module
  • MME and Tapering
  • Course Wrap-Up (Post-test and Evaluation Survey)

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essentials and Standards of the Maine Medical Association Committee on Continuing Medical Education and Accreditation through the partnership of Maine Medical Education Trust and Qualidigm. The Maine Medical Education Trust is accredited by the Maine Medical Association to provide CME activities for physicians.


The following planners, speakers and authors have indicated that they have no relationships with industry to disclose relative to the content of this activity:

Noah Nesin, MD, FAAFP
Vice President of Medical Affairs

Kristen Silvia, MD
Family Medicine Doctor
Maine Medical Partners-Scarborough Family Medicine

Eva Quirion, NP
Nurse Practitioner
St. Joseph Internal Medicine

Jessica Bates, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist and UNE Faculty Member
Penobscot Community Health Care and UNE

  • FREE
  • Course Certificate