Lifespan Approach to Substance Abuse Added to HealthForumOnline's Continuing Education (CE) Library for Mental Health Professionals & Nurses

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HealthForumOnline (HFO) has added a new online CE course, Biopsychosocial Effects of Substances: A Lifespan Approach, to its continuing education (CE/CEU) library for mental health professionals, nurses and allied healthcare workers. An estimated 30 million Americans currently suffer from dependency and addiction, a figure that cuts across all sociodemographic categories and places a huge fiscal and personal burden on society. Scientific progress has made the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of substance abuse more effective. In particular, research has shed more light on the role developmental stage plays in the substance abuse process. This online CE course is designed to introduce health professionals to the fundamental biopsychosocial concepts of chemical dependency across the lifespan. Specifically, a theory- and evidence-based overview of the concept of addiction, the history of addiction treatment, basic types of drugs and their distinct effects, and implications for treatment planning and delivery are presented emphasizing important risk factors and substance abuse problems prevalent at each stage of development. All of HFO's CE/CEU courses are fast, convenient and especially cost-effective as health professionals have free ongoing access to course updates beyond completion of the CE activity.

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substance abuse issues are reflected across the entire range of development and, as such, one must not just understand the variety of substances that are abused and their short- and long-term impact, but also be aware of how different developmental variables increase risk for use, abuse, and addiction…known within the field as a lifespan approach.

HealthForumOnline (HFO), a nationally-approved (APA, ASWB, NBCC, PSNA, CA-BBS) online provider of continuing education (CE) for psychologists, social workers, counselors, nurses and other allied healthcare professionals announces the addition of a new online CE/CEU course, Biopsychosocial Effects of Substances: A Lifespan Approach, to the Chemical Dependency category of their extensive online CE/CEU resource library.

An estimated 30 million Americans currently suffer from drug dependency and addictions, placing an enormous fiscal and personal burden on society. Many more are on the verge of becoming drug abusers. As a first step in prevention and treatment, it is essential that health professionals understand substance abuse from various perspectives as it is a multi-faceted and complex problem. In particular, the biopsychosocial effects of substance use and abuse is an area of scientific study that examines the immediate and long-term impacts of abused chemicals on biological, psychological, and sociological systems. The biopsychosocial model is a fully integrative approach to the growing substance abuse problem. Dr. Brian Kelly, the author of this online CE course and Department Chair, Neuroscience Program Advisor, and Associate Professor of Psychology at Bridgewater College notes that "substance abuse issues are reflected across the entire range of development and, as such, one must not just understand the variety of substances that are abused and their short- and long-term impact, but also be aware of how different developmental variables increase risk for use, abuse, and addiction…known within the field as a lifespan approach." A lifespan approach is critical when working within the area of substance use and abuse and allows for an analysis of behavior across the entire range of human development encompassing a variety of biological, psychological, and sociological changes that occur starting prior to conception through prenatal development, birth, and early childhood all the way through middle age, geriatric development, and eventually death.

Anchored in the biopsychosocial approach, this online CE course for mental health professionals extends beyond this model to present a lifespan approach to the prevention and treatment of substance abuse. Specifically, a theory- and evidence-based overview of the concept of addiction, the history of addiction treatment, basic types of drugs and their distinct effects, and implications for treatment planning and delivery are presented emphasizing important risk factors and substance abuse problems prevalent at each stage of development.

Psychologists, social workers, counselors, nurses and other allied health professionals can now chose from HFO's 19 categories of topics related to health psychology and behavioral medicine (i.e., ethics, cancer adaptation, women's health, cultural diversity, eating disorders, reproduction/sexuality, aging/gerontology, pediatric behavioral medicine, assessment, chemical dependency, chronic/acute illness, clinical intervention, group therapy, infectious disease, long-term care, neuropsychology, pain management, spirituality, LGBT issues) containing over 67 courses available online or as downloadable, transportable PDFs. Health professionals can log on and complete CE courses at their own pace, on their own schedule, anywhere they have Internet access. CE certificates can be downloaded, printed and reprinted at any time to meet licensure renewal needs. Lastly, since HFO understands that busy health professionals need to have fast, convenient and cost-effective resources for state-of the-science education, we notify customers when their purchased CE course has been updated and enable customers to review these updates for free online even after they have completed the CE activity and generated their CE certificate.

For more information on this course or a complete listing of titles in our online CE resource library, visit HealthForumOnline.com.

About HealthForumOnline:

HealthForumOnline (HFO) is approved as a provider of CE courses by the American Psychological Association, the National Board of Certified Counselors, the Association of Social Work Boards, and several state professional organizations, including the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation, and the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. HFO's CE Program's Advisory Committee and authors are comprised of over 60 nationally-recognized experts in behavioral medicine.

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Michelle Rodoletz
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