Chemical Dependency and Substance Abuse: A Review for the Dental Professional, 4th Edition


About the Course 
Chemical dependency and substance abuse affect all segments of the population. As of 2020, an estimated 21.4% of people 12 and over in the U.S. have used illegal drugs or misused prescription drugs for the first time within the past year. Dental professionals will encounter these problems among their patients and should be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of substance abuse, as well as serve as a resource for these patients.  

This basic-level course reviews commonly misused substances, discusses their origins, and details the physical effects they can produce. Special consideration is given to substances commonly available in the dental office and the medications dental professionals may administer and prescribe. The course also highlights the signs and symptoms of drug abuse, slang associated with misused and abused substances, and the common routes of administration for each substance so that dental professionals will be able to identify patients who may be abusing certain substances.

AGD Subject Code - 157

Course Objectives

  • Discuss tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), its effects, and medical applications.
  • Identify legal and illegal stimulants and their effects.
  • Describe different sedatives, their effects, and dental considerations.
  • Identify common hallucinogens and their effects.
  • Describe the effects of different opioids, including dental analgesics.
  • Identify common inhalants and their effects.
  • Explain the role of the dental professional in identifying and managing the potential for chemical dependency and substance abuse.

About the Author 
Karen Hallisey-Pesa, DMD, is a general dentist and dental hygiene educator. She graduated from Saint Michael’s College in Vermont with her Bachelor of Science degree and went on to get her DMD degree from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. She was in private practice as a general dentist for 10 years before entering the realm of dental higher education. She has worked as a dental planner for many years and has developed and reviewed many dental continuing education courses. She is currently the program director for a dental hygiene program.

How to Receive Credit

  • Read the entire course online or in print which requires a 3-hour commitment of time. 
  • After completion of the course, complete the final examination.  A passing grade of 75% is required. Test questions link content to learning outcomes as a method to enhance individualized learning and material retention. 
  • Note to Nursing professionals: Depending on your state requirements, you will be asked to either affirm that you have completed the course, or you will be required to complete the Post-test included in the course.
  • Provide required personal information and payment information.
  • Complete the mandatory course evaluation.
  • Print your Certificate of Completion.

Resolution of Conflict of Interest
Colibri Healthcare, LLC implemented mechanisms prior to the planning and implementation of the continuing education activity, to identify and resolve conflicts of interest for all individuals in a position to control content of the course activity.

Sponsorship/Commercial Support and Non-Endorsement
It is the policy of Colibri not to accept commercial support. Furthermore, commercial interests are prohibited from distributing or providing access to this activity to learners.

The information provided in this activity is for continuing education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a healthcare provider relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient’s medical condition.
©2024: All Rights Reserved. Materials may not be reproduced without the expressed written permission or consent of Colibri Healthcare, LLC. The materials presented in this course are meant to provide the consumer with general information on the topics covered. The information provided was prepared by professionals with practical knowledge of the areas covered. It is not meant to provide medical, legal, or professional advice. Colibri Healthcare, LLC recommends that you consult a medical, legal, or professional services expert licensed in your state. Colibri Healthcare, LLC has made all reasonable efforts to ensure that all content provided in this course is accurate and up to date at the time of printing but does not represent or warrant that it will apply to your situation nor circumstances and assumes no liability from reliance on these materials. Quotes are collected from customer feedback surveys. The models are intended to be representative and not actual customers.

Accreditations and Approvals
Colibri Healthcare, LLC is designated as a Nationally Approved PACE Program Provider for FAGD/MAGD credit. Approval does not imply acceptance by any regulatory authority or AGD endorsement. Current approval period is 1/1/2022 to 12/31/2025; Provider ID# 217536.

Colibri Healthcare, LLC is an ADA CERP Recognized Provider. ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of continuing dental education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry.