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Course provides guidance on adolescent substance abuse

August 7, 2017

A free, continuing medical education course about adolescent substance use and prescription drug misuse is now available.

“Research-Based Clinical Strategies to Prevent and Address Adolescent Substance Use and Prescription Medication Misuse – Being Part of the Solution” offers safe prescribing practices and treatments for teens with a substance use disorder.

AAOMS worked with the National Institutes of Health and the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s Physicians Outreach Initiative (NIDAMED) on developing the resource for medical and dental professionals. The Association is recognized as a partner organization – and the only dental specialty – in creating this course. AAOMS fellow David A. Bitonti, DMD, is a featured clinician.

The course was created to encourage clinicians to discuss substance use with adolescent patients. Available in two 30-minute sections, the research-based course provides strategies to build trust and assure confidentiality, and it offers talking points for beginning conversations and methods for determining risk and substance use.

NIDA contributed funding and scientific counsel for the course, which offers up to one continuing medical education credit for physicians, nurses, dentists, nurse practitioners and physician assistants.

Approximately 75 percent of adults in treatment for substance use disorders started their use when they were teens, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. In addition, about 2.2 million teens 12 to 17 years old were using illicit drugs and nearly half a million were misusing prescription medications in 2015 in the United States.