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Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral for Treatment for Substance Use Disorder in the Oncology Setting

(there is a video clip that is very difficult to understand, our apologies for this segment) Dr. Broglio reviews the current situation of drug and alcohol use and misuse, including the fact that alcohol remains a more significant and long term problem than prescription or illicit drug use. However, deaths from synthetic opioids are at epidemic levels. She discusses various tools that help to identify oncology patients who are at high risk for opioid misuse, and shares survey information regarding the frequency and comfort levels of oncology clinicians who screen for alcohol and/or drug misuse. She describes a few brief screening modalities including a one-question screen that is very effective in identifying potentially harmful behaviors. Dr. Savage reviews the resources for treatment and the wide variety of treatment options and states that most treatment centers no longer have waiting lists. She emphasizes that any clinician can and should refer for treatment of withdrawal and discusses the prescribing options for buprenorphine by physicians with a DEA license. Both presenters highlight the fact that cancer patients should be screened in the same manner as patients who do not have a cancer diagnosis. It is imperative to evaluate an oncology patient’s drug and alcohol use prior to prescribing medications to alleviate pain from their cancer and/or treatment, because of the high risk of harm if prescribed (opioids, benzodiazepines, etc.) and non-prescribed medications are combined. Opioid use in cancer patients should improve function and offer relief from pain and discomfort. For patients who are at high risk for misuse, clinicians are encouraged to seek the help of colleagues in palliative care and addiction medicine to safely and effectively manage pain.

Activity Details
Start Date: October 23, 2018
End Date: October 23, 2020
Link: View Presentation


  • Kathleen Broglio, DNP, ANP-BC, ACHPN, CPE, FPCN
    Assistant Professor of Medicine, Section of Palliative Medicine 
    Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center
  • Seddon Savage MD, MS
    Adjunct Associate Professor of Anesthesiology 
    Geisel School of Medicine

There is no fee for this activity, but to receive credit(s) you must register online and complete the online post test and evaluation (you must register to access this form).

Learning Outcome(s)

At the conclusion of this activity, participants will be able to describe the current state of screening for alcohol and substance use disorder in the oncology setting, discuss  screening tools to incorporate into the ambulatory oncology setting, and identify current resources to help patients with alcohol or substance use disorder.


Dartmouth-Hitchcock is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock designates this enduring material for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Requirements for Successful Completion

In order to receive credit for this Continuing Medical Education (CME) activity, you must:

  • View the entire recording
  • Complete the online activity evaluation. (you must register to access).
Speaker Disclosure

The activity director(s), planning committee member(s), speaker(s), author(s) or anyone in a position to control the content for Screening, Brief Intervention and Referral for Treatment for Substance Use Disorder in the Oncology Setting have reported NO financial interest or relationship* with various companies. There were no individuals in a position to control the content that refused to disclose.

*A “financial interest or relationship" refers to an equity position, receipt of royalties, consultantship, funding by a research grant, receiving honoraria for educational services elsewhere, or to any other relationship to a company that provides sufficient reason for disclosure, in keeping with the spirit of the stated policy.

Provider Contact Information

Provider contact information for questions regarding accreditation of the activity:
Center for Learning and Professional Development
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center

Type:     Internet Activity (Enduring Material)
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