This course examines the pathology of addiction. It is presented by Jack Stem a former CRNA, (certified registered nurse anesthesist) who shares his personal experience with addiction, in order to help medical and dental professionals understand the process of addiction. 

There has been a dramatic increase in the number of poisonings and even deaths associated with the abuse of prescription drugs. Many teens believe the myth that these drugs are a safe way to get high. However when they are abused, prescription drugs can be just as dangerous as street drugs.

• Unintentional poisoning deaths involving narcotics and hallucinogens grew 55 percent from 1999 to 2004. Research suggests this is an increase attributed primarily to prescription painkillers. (CDC, 2007)

• Unintentional poisoning deaths involving psychotherapeutic drugs, such as sedative-hypnotics and anti-depressants, grew 84 percent from 1999 to 2004. (CDC, 2007)

• Between 1995 and 2005, treatment admissions for abuse of prescription pain relievers grew more than 300 percent. (TEDS, 2007)

• Four out of 10 teens think that prescription medicines are much safer to abuse than illicit drugs, even if they are not prescribed by a doctor. (PATS, 2006)

• Nearly one-third of teens (31%) believe there’s “nothing wrong” with using prescription medicines without a prescription once in a while. (PATS, 2006)

• Almost a third (32%) of teens say they abuse prescription painkillers because they believe there are fewer side effects than street drugs. (PATS, 2006)

• Nearly three out of 10 teens believe prescription painkillers—even if not prescribed by a doctor—are not addictive. (PATS, 2006)

Objectives:After this presentation, the participant will:

List the three primary signs of addiction
List three major factors associated in the development of addictive disorders and diseases
List the three primary stages of addiction
Discuss 2 primary goals of addiction treatment
List the primary brain areas affected by addiction
Understand the three major drug classifications involved in opioid addiction

This activity is eligible for 2 hours of CE credit.

Course fees: $119.95

To participate in this online CE course click here

Physicians, Physician Assistants

Dentists, Dental Assistants

Advanced practice Nurses, Registered Nurses

For more information on drug addiction and statistics of drug abuse in the US please click here to download this 2010 report by “Monitoring the Future: National Results on Adolescent Drug Use” by The National Institute on Drug Abuse and The National Institutes of Health.


Centers for Disease Control (CDC). 2007. Unintentional Poisoning Deaths, United States, 1999-2004. February 9, 2007.

This report examined unintentional poisoning deaths in the United States, nearly all of which are attributed to drugs. The analysis, based on data from the National Vital Statistics System, highlights substantial increases in these deaths each year from 1999 to 2004. Findings also include deaths by age, gender, region, and other selected characteristics, as well as unintentional poisonings by type of substance.

Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS). 2007. Treatment Episode Data Set, 1995 to 2005. National Admissions to Substance Abuse Treatment Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

This report presents results from the 2005 Treatment Episode Data Set (TEDS) report, as well as trend data from 1995 to 2005. It provides information on the demographic and substance abuse characteristics of the 1.8 million annual admissions to treatment for the abuse of alcohol and drugs in facilities that are part of the State reporting networks.

Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (PATS). 2006. Teens in grades 7 through 12, 2005. Partnership for a Drug-Free America.

The Partnership Attitude Tracking Study tracks the attitudes about illegal drugs, providing research about the thoughts and perceptions of the Partnerships’ target audiences. The survey consists of two nationally projectable samples: a teen sample for students in grades seven through 12, and a parent sample. The 2005 PATS teens’ study surveyed 7,216 adolescents from all over the U.S. Data were collected from March through June 2005.

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