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Substance Abuse & Chemical Dependency: The Disorder and Its Treatment

15 CE Credits/Hours - Online Course - $129.00

Developed by Ofer Zur, Ph.D

This course is offered as part of a Pre-licensing Savings Package of pre-requisite courses. Note: This course does not fulfill the pre-licensing requirement for psychologists in CA.

This course is also offered as part of a Certificate Program
Addiction: From Substance Abuse & Chemical Dependency to Gambling & Internet Addiction 48 CE Credits

This course includes materials consisting of:

Transcripts are available for ALL MP3s in pdf format.

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General Course Description

Perhaps no other disorder cuts across so many domains and is connected with other disorders as substance abuse. An estimated 2.6 million Americans sought treatment in 2014 for substance abuse, and an estimated 22.5 million Americans aged 12 or older needed help with a substance use disorder. Despite its widespread occurrence, clients who come to therapy usually don't come for that issue. Most people with substance abuse problems attempt to treat themselves, and if they come to therapy, they are often likely to present and talk about other issues. Therefore, it is imperative for the therapist to be able to identify the signs of substance abuse--both the obvious and subtle.

This intermediate level course describes the most commonly abused substances and the characteristics of each substance as well as the signs of abuse and addiction and the most effective treatment principles and therapeutic techniques. Section One describes the substances, their chemical mechanisms, and their unique psychological and behavioral effects. It describes the incidence of use--geographically, by age groups, and in both the United States and Europe. Section Two outlines information on various substances to help identify their prevalence, presence, mechanisms and use trends. Section Three presents articles and podcasts describing principles and methods of substance abuse treatment for individuals and family. Section Four provides information in successful harm reduction programs. Finally, Section Five supplies the learner with online and other resources.

Disclaimer: This course is purely educational and does not intend to serve as a license (or permission) to mental health professionals to prescribe or practice any of the approaches discussed in this course unless they fall within the scope of practice of your profession. Check with your licensing board about the scope of practice of your profession to make sure you practice within that scope. It also does not serve as a permission to title yourself in any specific way.

Educational Objectives

This course will teach psychotherapists to:

1.    Identify a variety of drugs and addictive substances.

2.    Discern differences between classes of drugs, such as opiates and hallucinogens.

3.    Compare and contrast mechanisms and qualities of different drugs of choice.

4.    Note health consequences and risks posed by each of the various drug classes.

5.    Identify pharmacological intervention for alcohol dependence.

6.    Summarize assessment tools used with those who are chemically dependent.

7.    Describe a variety of treatments for alcohol and drug abuse and addiction.

8.    Outline program elements that are frequently incorporated into treatment for drug and alcohol addiction.

9.    Discuss the incidence of drug use.

10.    Describe systemic family interventions for substance abuse.

11.    Summarize Jungian perspective on addiction and addiction treatment.

12.    Identify basic empirically supported principles underlying addictions treatment.

13.    Describe the perspectives underlying abstinence and controlled drinking treatments.

14.    Compare and contrast binge drinking and alcoholism.

15.    Identify the street names and forms of various illegal or controlled substances.

Course Syllabus

Incidence of substance abuse broken down by age, gender, sociocultural and geographical groups

Commonly abused substances: cannabis, synthetic cannibinoids, cocaine, amphetamines, MDMA ("ecstasy") heroin and alcohol

  • Chemical composition and mechanisms
  • Street names and appearances
  • Physical, emotional and behavioral effects

Treatment

  • Harm reduction
  • Empirically supported general treatment principles
  • Jungian treatment perspective
  • Mindfulness treatment
  • Family perspective on treatment
  • Systemic family interventions
  • Pharmacological interventions for alcoholism

Additional treatment and informational resources

  • For clients
  • For therapists
    • Assessment instruments
    • Additional informational resources
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