03-5631-17011: Substance Abuse and Chemical Dependency

Course Abstract:

Contact Hours (CE): The Academy of Dental Learning and OSHA Training, LLC, designates this activity for 3 continuing education credits (3 CEs).
Cost: $30.00
Questions? Contact Us: Phone: 800-522-1207, Fax: 800-886-3009, or Email: cesupport@dentallearning.org
Published: September 2010
Updated January 2017
Expires February 2020
Pages: 66
Course Instructors: Nancy Williams, DMD and Wayne McElniney, DPh, DDS
No conflicts of interest are reported by the authors or by educational planning committee members.

Educational Objectives

  • Identify epidemiological factors related to chemical dependency.
  • Describe signs that may indicate that a patient is chemically dependent.
  • List components of chemical dependency treatment.
  • Discuss modifications in dental treatment that may be necessary when treating a patient who is chemically dependent or recovering from chemical dependency.
  • Describe how drugs and alcohol may interact with dental therapeutic agents.

Course Description

Meets the mandated course requirements for Arizona and Texas.

Substance abuse occurs at an alarming rate in today’s society.

According to the Center for Disease Control & Prevention, “From 2000 to 2015 more than half a million people died from drug overdoses. 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose. We now know that overdoses from prescription opioids are a driving factor in the 15-year increase in opioid overdose deaths. Since 1999, the amount of prescription opioids sold in the U.S. nearly quadrupled, yet there has not been an overall change in the amount of pain that Americans report. Deaths from prescription opioids—drugs like oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone—have more than quadrupled since 1999.”

In 2015, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-FFR1-2015/NSDUH-FFR1-2015/NSDUH-FFR1-2015.pdf ) adopted a revised definition of prescription drug misuse, ”which defined misuse as use in any way not directed by a doctor, including use without NSDUH obtains information on the following 10 categories of drugs: marijuana, cocaine (including crack), heroin, hallucinogens, inhalants, and methamphetamine, as well as the misuse of prescription pain relievers, tranquilizers, stimulants, and sedatives. Estimates of "illicit drug use" reported from NSDUH reflect the use of drugs in any of these 10 categories: a prescription of one’s own; use in greater amounts, more often, or longer than told to take a drug; or use in any other way not directed by a doctor.”

Though abuse of readily available drugs such as nicotine and alcohol remains constant, in recent years the misuse of prescription medications, particularly pain relief and cold medications such as Vicodin, Oxycontin, and Dextromethorphan, is on the rise. The most common substance abusing patients seen in a dental practice involves the use of alcohol, tobacco, sedative/hypnotics, barbiturates, and narcotics. Although the scope of dental practice does not include diagnosis or treatment of chemical dependency, the dental team must be aware of signs and symptoms of substance abuse and addiction. As health professionals we can provide education, early intervention, and provide motivation for the patient to seek help before abuse becomes dependency.

The dental professional’s clinical role includes:

  • Assistance in recognition of a substance abuse problem.
  • Relapse prevention for patients recovering from chemical dependency.
  • Treatment modifications to ensure that each patient receives safe and effective dental care.

This course will also assist you in understanding:

  • Prevalence and incidence of substance abuse.
  • Pathophysiological and psychological features of substance abusers.
  • Clinical manifestations of substance abuse.
  • Treatment options available for substance abuse.
  • Dental treatment modifications for patients who are abusing or recovering from substance abuse.
  • Protocols if a member of the oral health team is impaired.

This course is informational only and provides an overview of Substance Abuse and Chemical Dependency. This course is not intended to provide legal advice or set a standard for dental care. The oral health team must comply with state and federal laws, as well as ethical standards within their respective professional organizations.

How to Take This Course

Click on the logo below to open the course book. Study the course then return to this page and click to Take the Exam. Upon successful completion of the exam you will be asked to register and pay over a secure connection. Your exam will grade automatically and your certificate will display for you to save and/or print for your records.

Contact Hours: 3.00
Price: $30.00

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* Upon successful completion of our courses your certificate of completion is immediately available for you to print AND we electronically transfer your completion information to CE Broker every Monday at 4:00PM EST. There is no need for you to mail your certificate; we do it for you electronically!

**Upon successful completion of these courses your certificate of completion is immediately available for you to print AND we electronically transfer your completion information to the State Education Department daily at 4:00PM EST. There is no need for you to mail your certificate; we do it for you electronically!