Prescribing and Pharmacology of Controlled Drugs

Presented by the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners

The August 2-4, 2024, Prescribing and Pharmacology of Controlled Drugs course is full.

(Click Meeting Information below for more information about August 2024 course)

The course in Prescribing and Pharmacology of Controlled Drugs is designed for physicians in all specialties, as well as physician assistants, certified registered nurse practitioners and nurse midwives, who need or wish to increase their knowledge and ability to effectively prescribe controlled medications that have the potential for misuse and abuse.

Holders of an ACSC: Any two hours of the 12-hour prescribing course meets the ALBME CME rule requiring holders of an ACSC to have, every two years, 2 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ of CME in prescribing controlled substances.
Holders of a QACSC: The 12-hour prescribing course is required for PAs, CRNPs, and CNMs to obtain a QACSC.  To renew a QACSC, PAs, CRNPs and CNMs must attend four hours of the 12-hour prescribing course, or any other Board-approved prescribing controlled substances course, every two years, listed at

Statement of Need

Controlled drugs are being prescribed and dispensed at an increased rate to help patients cope with pain, anxiety, depression, insomnia, ADHD, and myriad other disorders. Prescribing providers of controlled substances are faced with challenges in diagnoses and patient management across a spectrum of diverse patients and clinical settings. 

Controlled medications are unique in that they are frequently abused directly or through diversion. It is critical that prescribers be familiar with current practice guidelines and recommendations in order to stay up to date with best practices across an array of clinical scenarios. It is also important for prescribers to continually improve their skills in caring for patients in practice settings that may not completely align with established guidelines, thereby calling for insight and professional judgment on how best to proceed. 

This activity will review cutting edge, best practice recommendations and guidelines across a variety of diagnostic and clinical settings that challenge the prescribing provider. These include clinical areas such as treatment of acute and chronic pain, identification and treatment of substance use disorders (especially prescription drug abusers), and addressing unique populations such as hospice patients.

Participant Learning Objectives

After attending this course, participants will be able to:

• Describe the neurophysiological processes of and outline the differences between acute and chronic pain.
• Review the role of psychosocial factors in chronic pain and opioid effectiveness.
• Illustrate clinical conditions and the associated decision-making process.
• Identify non-narcotic therapies for chronic pain management.
• Determine indications for referral to specialty care for chronic pain.
• Describe the pharmacology of benzodiazepines and psychostimulants which result in their being classified as controlled drugs, and the implications of this pharmacology for prescribing decisions.
• Identify common drugs sold at convenience stores/gas stations and recognize typical clinical presentations of intoxication or withdrawal from these substances.
• Describe the legal complexities of regulation of these compounds on a state and federal level.
• Describe the characteristics of a dopamine surge in the midbrain, and discuss how this relates to the development of addictive disease and implications for controlled substance prescribing.
• Recognize the addictive potential of common psychotropic medications.
• Describe best practices when prescribing buprenorphine, including induction strategies and dosing regimens. 
• Recognize the potential complications when switching patients from fentanyl or methadone to buprenorphine.
• Explain accessing the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program database and how it can be used as a clinical tool.
• Review the application, approval, and renewal processes for the QACSC/LPSP.
• Define the rules and protocols that govern controlled prescribing.
• Discuss case management strategies in special situations, such as the elderly, hospice patients, and renal insufficiency.
• Describe the pharmacology of marijuana and identify potential adverse events and drug interactions.
• Differentiate between marijuana and other cannabinoids.
• Describe potential issues and limitations associated with the legal restrictions of prescribing and working with patients using medical marijuana.
• Employ interviewing techniques relating to the diagnosis and management of substance abuse in general and prescription drug abusers in particular. 


NOTICE: The Prescribing Controlled Drugs course is full. 


Prescribing of Controlled Drugs (8 hours) – Friday and Saturday, August 2-3
Pharmacology of Controlled Drugs (4 hours) – Sunday, August 4


Agenda – TBD

Prescribing of Controlled Drugs (8 hours) – Saturday, November 23
Pharmacology of Controlled Drugs (4 hours) – Sunday, November 24


Registration – TBD

Hotel Information:
Hyatt Regency – The Wynfrey Hotel |1000 Riverchase Galleria | Birmingham, AL 
Room Rate: $149 (plus taxes)
Room Block Group Code: Medical Association of the State of Alabama
Room Block Deadline: Thursday, October 31, 2024
Reservations: 1-402-593-5098

The deadline to cancel your registration is two weeks before the activity date.  Cancellations must be received by the education department by e-mail and will not be accepted by telephone.  Please send any cancellations to Prescribing CME Cancellation Notice.

Credit Designation Statement

The Medical Foundation of Alabama designates this live activity for a maximum of 12 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™.  Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Accreditation Statement

This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama through the joint providership of the Medical Foundation of Alabama and the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners.  The Medical Foundation of Alabama is accredited by the Medical Association of the State of Alabama to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

CME Transcripts

Transcripts will be available for download from the Medical Association of the State of Alabama website six (6) weeks after the date of the educational event. Print or download your CME transcript at  Questions? Contact the Medical Association Education Department at (334) 954-2519.