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Substance Abuse: Psychopharmacology and Treatment

presented by Demetra Antimisiaris PharmD, CGP, FASCP

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial— Demetra Antimisiaris receives compensation from MedBridge for the production of this course. There are no other relevant financial relationships. Nonfinancial— No relevant nonfinancial relationship exists.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

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Substance Abuse is becoming the predominant health epidemic challenge of the current era. In 2013, there were roughly 2,400 deaths due to substance abuse, and in 2016, there were over 50,000 deaths due to substance abuse. The most commonly fatal substances are analgesics, antidepressants, alcohol, central nervous system (CNS) stimulants, and cardiovascular agents. It is imperative that all healthcare providers understand the psycho-social dynamics linked to substance abuse, the pharmacology of substances of abuse, and available treatments. This course is aimed at improving healthcare professionals' and athletic trainers' skills regarding identification, characterization, and assessment of substance abuse.

Meet Your Instructor

Demetra Antimisiaris PharmD, CGP, FASCP

Demetra Antimisiaris (Dr. Dee) is the director of the University of Louisville's Frazier Polypharmacy and Medication Management Program. This program is dedicated to education, research, and outreach regarding polypharmacy. In addition to teaching Pharmacology to medical and dental students, Dr. Dee provides a weekly polypharmacy clinic and clinical consult service with the U of L…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. What Physiological Processes in the Brain and CNS are Involved With Substance Abuse?

Learners need to understand the physiological and psychosocial drivers of substance abuse and addiction to contribute to the overall solution to the substance abuse epidemic that our society desperately needs. We will review the stress and anxiety triggers of the fight or flight response, and the resulting neural hormonal and epigenetic changes which drive substance abuse. This chapter explains the endogenous responses to stress and anxiety that impact substance abuse. The psychological and physiological aspects of pain will be discussed as well.

2. What Occurs at the Neuro-Receptor Level When Substance Abuse is Present?

This chapter helps the learner understand the pharmacological mechanisms of psychoactive and neuroactive drugs as well as the implication of long-term exposure to these substances. The principles of neuroplasticity and receptor up or down regulation, as well as tolerance, are presented here.

3. Common Substances of Abuse

This chapter will present an overview of primarily the prescription and over the counter substances of abuse that the healthcare provider and athletic trainer would possibly encounter. A brief discussion of street drugs, steroids, and supplements will be included, but the focus will be on prescription and over the counter substances.

4. Controlled Substance Management in the Clinical Setting

Healthcare providers and athletic trainers can provide a point of intervention in the growing epidemic of substance abuse. This chapter will cover recognizing a substance abuse problem (physical signs of opioid and street drug abuse, assessment of functional status to assess efficacy, necessity vs drug-seeking behavior), understanding detoxification, and options to support safe detoxification. This chapter will also discuss clinical policies to help stem substance abuse of prescription drugs, including controlled substance reporting programs implemented by many states, as well as factors that should be addressed in every setting to detect and discourage diversion. Diversion will be discussed as an aspect of patient abuse.

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