The U.S. government considers OxyContin, a prescription drug, to have a "high potential for abuse."

(AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

Overdoses from painkillers like opioids are at an all-time high, and a bad decision -- like prescribing oxycodone to an addict -- could result in death. There are also consequences for doctors and nurses, who risk losing their medical licenses if patients overdose. A new three-day course in Denver aims to help health care providers make better decisions when it comes to prescribing potentially-addictive painkillers.

Dr. Elizabeth Grace is the medical director of the Center for Personalized Education for Physicians, which runs the course in Denver. She spoke with Colorado Matters host Andrea Dukakis, along with Kay, a nurse practitioner in Denver who was recommended to take the course after a patient of hers overdosed on painkillers.