Nursing: Commonly Misused Substances

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About the Course

This course focuses on the most commonly misused addictive drugs. Twelve types of substances are described, including their biochemistry and effects on physical and mental health. The process of assessing and screening for these twelve substances is reviewed and prevention practices and therapeutic modalities are also described.  

Learning Outcomes:
Upon completion of this course, the learner will be able to:
  • Describe trends in the epidemiology of substance use in the United States.
  • Identify principles of preventing substance use disorders.
  • Describe the process of assessing and screening for substance use disorders.
  • Distinguish among the various substances linked to substance use disorders.
  • Identify the clinical effects of various substances on the body.
  • Describe the psychosocial issues for patients with substance use disorders.
  • Summarize the treatment approaches for patients with a substance use disorder.

About the Authors:

Audrey Darville, PhD, APRN, CTTS, FAANP, is an associate professor in the College of Nursing at the University of Kentucky. She has been a practicing family nurse practitioner since 1998. Currently the tobacco treatment specialist with the University of Kentucky Health Care System, she is also director of the BREATHE Tobacco Treatment Specialist online training program. As a Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist, Dr. Darville works with inpatients, outpatients, and employees to provide group and intensive individual tobacco dependence treatment.  She is president of the Association for the Treatment of Tobacco Use and Dependence. She was honored as the Kentucky Nurse Practitioner of the Year in 2014 and inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners in 2016.

Peggy El-Mallakh, PhD, RN, PMH APRN-BC, received her BSN from the Central Connecticut State University, a MSN from the University of Kentucky College of Nursing, and a PhD from the University of Kentucky College of Nursing. She is an associate professor at the University of Kentucky College of Nursing, where she is the co-coordinator of the Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Program. Her research interests include training nursing students in the use of a Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment Intervention.  Dr. El-Mallakh also conducts research on medical illness management and health promotion among people diagnosed with schizophrenia, the use of evidence-based practices in community mental health treatment settings, and evaluation of Doctor of Nursing Practice Programs. Dr. El-Mallakh is active in the American Psychiatric Nurses Association and the National Organization for Nurse Practitioner Faculties.

Dianna Inman, DNP, APRN, CPNP-PC, PMHS, PMHNP-BC, received a BSN from East Carolina University, a MSN in the Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Track at Virginia Commonwealth University, and DNP at Arizona State University. She is certified pediatric nurse practitioner, pediatric primary care mental health specialist, and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner. Dr. Inman is involved in practice in developmental/behavioral pediatrics and school-based mental health. She is an assistant professor of nursing at the University of Kentucky and teaches in the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program. Dr. Inman has presented nationally on substance use. She received funding from the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration to teach healthcare providers and students how to screen, provide brief intervention, and know when to refer patients for substance use problems. Dr. Inman is actively involved in the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners and Association of Psychiatric Nurse Practitioners. 

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