Opioids: Contributing to Both Health and Death, 2nd Edition

About the Course:
Opioids are pain relievers accessed through prescriptions. When someone takes too many opioids or reaches a tolerance threshold, an overdose occurs. With the increase of opioid deaths in the U.S., it is imperative for the death-care industry to recognize and respect the hidden dangers. The funeral arrangements, visitation, and funeral can be complicated because of the circumstances surrounding the death. Opioids can affect the vessels and tissues of the body and cause embalming issues for embalmers. Funeral directors and embalmers need to be aware of safety procedures before embalming and to incorporate strict personal protective equipment protocols. There are different embalming techniques for embalming an individual who was using opioids at the time of death as well as those who have overdosed on opioids. This course will also describe strategies to help combat overdoses in the funeral home.  
Learning Objectives
  • Explain what an opioid is and why opioid use has turned into an epidemic. 
  • Identify active steps that the medical community is incorporating to combat the opioid epidemic. 
  • Identify the dangers embalmers face with opioids.
  • Actively adapt personal protective protocols when interacting with individuals who are dependent on opioids. 
  • Explain the proper procedures when removing the deceased and clothing before embalming an opioid user.
  • Identify how opioids affect the body and how this affects the embalming process. 
  • Discuss how opioids affect the brain, including how naloxone combats the drug.
  • Formulate a plan for naloxone administration at the funeral home.
  • Adapt techniques to ensure safety for funeral home staff and visitors.
About the Author
Stephen Born, CFSP, is a licensed funeral director and embalmer certified in postmortem craniofacial reconstruction. He is a certified naloxone trainer for the death-care industry. He shares his knowledge through continuing education programs, journals, and travels throughout Illinois training funeral directors and embalmers in naloxone administration. Stephen also demonstrates the proper embalming techniques for the opiate dependent in his seminars.
How to receive credit
  • Read the entire course online or in print which requires a 2-hour commitment of time. 
  • After completion of the course, complete the final examination.  A passing grade of 75% is required. Test questions link content to learning outcomes as a method to enhance individualized learning and material retention. 
  • Note to Nursing professionals: Depending on your state requirements, you will be asked to either affirm that you have completed the course, or you will be required to complete the Post-test included in the course.
  • Provide required personal information and payment information.
  • Complete the mandatory course evaluation.
  • Print your Certificate of Completion.
Resolution of Conflict of Interest
Colibri Healthcare, LLC implemented mechanisms prior to the planning and implementation of the continuing education activity, to identify and resolve conflicts of interest for all individuals in a position to control content of the course activity.
Sponsorship/Commercial Support and Non-Endorsement
It is the policy of Colibri Healthcare, LLC not to accept commercial support. Furthermore, commercial interests are prohibited from distributing or providing access to this activity to learners.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this activity is for continuing education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a healthcare provider relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition.

©2024: All Rights Reserved. Materials may not be reproduced without the expressed written permission or consent of Colibri Healthcare, LLC. The materials presented in this course are meant to provide the consumer with general information on the topics covered. The information provided was prepared by professionals with practical knowledge of the areas covered. It is not meant to provide medical, legal, or professional advice. Colibri Healthcare, LLC recommends that you consult a medical, legal, or professional services expert licensed in your state. Colibri Healthcare, LLC has made all reasonable efforts to ensure that all content provided in this course is accurate and up to date at the time of printing, but does not represent or warrant that it will apply to your situation nor circumstances and assumes no liability from reliance on these materials. Quotes are collected from customer feedback surveys. The models are intended to be representative and not actual customers.
Colibri Healthcare, LLC is approved by the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice (APFSP) (Provider #1046). APFSP also approves all funeral courses. Many states accept APFSP approved courses.