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Professional Development Resources

Prescription Drug Abuse

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Overview / Abstract:

Prescription Drug Abuse is a 3-hour online continuing education (CE) course that examines the misuse of prescription drugs (including opioids) in the United States.
Misuse of prescription drugs means “taking a medication in a manner or dose other than prescribed; taking someone else’s prescription, even if for a legitimate medical complaint such as pain; or taking a medication to feel euphoria” and is a serious public health problem in the United States.
When taken as prescribed, medication can be of great benefit to a patient, helping reduce pain, save lives, and improve one’s overall quality of life. However, when individuals misuse their prescribed medications or take medications not prescribed to them, the consequences can be disastrous. Illicit drug use, including the misuse of prescription medications, affects the health and well-being of millions of Americans. Among other deleterious effects, cardiovascular disease, stroke, cancer, infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis, and lung disease can all be affected by drug use. The important thing to remember is that the medications are not inherently bad in and of themselves – it is how people use (and abuse) them that creates a problem.
This course will discuss what drives people to abuse prescription drugs and how they obtain them; diagnostic criteria for substance use disorder; history and progression of prescription drug abuse, including types and classes of drugs used; and the cost of prescription drug abuse on addicts and non-addicts alike. The course will then review the sequence of treating individuals who have a prescription drug use disorder, including screening, assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and maintenance. Screening tools, assessment instruments, treatment programs, and evidence-based recommendations are included. Comorbidity between substance use disorder and mental disorders is also discussed.

Course 31-00 | 2018 | 50 pages | 20 posttest questions


Dec 25, 2027


Counselor CE, Dietetics / Dietitian CE, Psychology CE, Social Work CE





Credits / Hours



APA, NBCC, ASWB, AOTA, CDR, Alabama State Board of Occupational Therapy, South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors and MFT's, Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage and Family Therapists, State Board of Social Workers Examiners CE Board Compliant

Presenters / Authors / Faculty

Leo Christie, PhD; Stephanie Sarkis, PhD, NCC, LMHC

Keywords / Search Terms

Professional Development Resources prescription, drug, abuse, pharmacists, substance abuse, opioids, medication, comorbidity, diagnostics,

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