Worker Awareness and Protection from Opioid Waste and Associated Infectious Diseases Course Series

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Opioids are effective medications for treating pain, but they have a high potential for causing addiction, and some individuals may start misusing opioids, whether that is prescription or illegal opioids. The rapid increase in the use of prescription opioids has led to a dramatic increase in overdoses and overdose deaths. Furthermore, some people who misuse prescription opioids may start using heroin and other illegal substances with similar chemical structures that are cheaper and more readily available.





In this course we are going to delve deeper into transmission of infectious diseases. Disclaimer: This course is an awareness-level course only and is not a substitute for job-specific policy and skills training, or a hands-on operational-level course for personnel who have potential occupational exposure to highly hazardous working environments regarding infectious diseases. Heroin is typically injected using a syringe with a hypodermic needle. Other drug paraphernalia, such as spoons, may also be found in public spaces. For those who use heroin, the spoon may be used to dissolve the drug in water, which can then be placed in a syringe and injected with a needle. Contaminated needles, syringes, or other items used for injection may serve as a route of transmission for bloodborne infectious diseases.

Consequently, there has been an increase in transmission of infectious diseases linked to the opioid epidemic. Specifically, new infections of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) are becoming more common because these viruses are spread through contact with contaminated blood and other bodily fluids.

Unfortunately, parks and public lands have become a frequent location for opioid use and related behaviors—especially after hours. These public spaces have become a location for the improper disposal of opioid-related wastes. To understand how infectious diseases are spread, we are now going to learn more about the modes of disease transmission.

Course Schedule

This course is self-paced allowing you flexibility in the time needed to complete the course. You decide the order and progression you’d like to take, allowing you to revisit and review sections in greater depth as needed.

Elements of the course:

  • Informational text
  • Real-life examples
  • Informal assessment quizzes
  • Final assessment
  • Following the course, you will complete an assessment which requires you to demonstrate your understanding of key course concepts. Upon successful completion of the assessment you will be awarded an electronic certificate of completion.

    Course Sections:

    • Infectious Disease Transmission
    • Infectious Diseases Associated with Opioid Use

    Course Objectives

    • Describe the transmission of infectious diseases.
    • Describe potential routes of exposure of infectious diseases associated with opioid-related waste.
    • Identify and explain the characteristics for the infectious diseases associated with opioid-related waste.

    Recommended Background

    Please complete the Spotlight on Safety: Recognizing Hazards from Opioid Waste and Associated Infectious Diseases course prior to starting the modules in this course.


    Aside from an internet connection, what resources will I need for the course?

    No additional resources are required for this course.

    Will I get a certificate after completing the course?

    Yes! All courses include a final assessment to evaluate your understanding of key course concepts. A certificate of completion will be offered to you if you complete the assessment with a score of 80% or higher.

    Why should I take this course?

    Each Eppley e-course is designed collaboratively among experienced instructional designers, subject matter experts, and our partner organizations and institutions. The course curriculum includes current information and best practices in the field, and it is recognized by national leaders in parks, recreation, and land management. Not only will this course benefit your career by expanding your knowledge base, but it will also enhance your application and problem-solving skills.

    For more frequently asked questions, please visit our Help Center.


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