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CE Credit Hours: 1.00 Continuing Education Credit Hours
Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use despite adverse consequences, and it is considered a brain disorder, because it involves functional changes to brain circuits that may last a long time after a person has stopped taking drugs. This brief, intermediate level continuing education course was developed using information from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to provide an overview of drug abuse and addiction. Reasons why individuals use and abuse drugs are presented as well as the impact of drugs on the brain, drug prevention and treatment strategies, and health and personal consequences of drug abuse. The ways in which drug abuse impacts adolescents is also discussed, as this is a particularly vulnerable age for substance experimentation and abuse.
1. Identify the harmful consequences of drug abuse and addiction for people of all ages.
2. Describe the functional changes that occur in the brain as the result of drug use.
3. Discuss specific vulnerabilities that adolescents face in regards to substance use and its effects.
4. Evaluate how drugs can alter important brain areas that are necessary for life-sustaining functions and can drive the compulsive drug abuse that marks addiction.
5. Outline strategies to treat drug addiction and to promote recovery, including medication use and behavioral health interventions.
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