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REG. $42

Assessing Substance Abuse in Patients with Chronic Pain

Ellen Lavin, PhD

CE Credit: 3 Hours

Target Audience: Psychology CE | Counseling CE | Social Work CE | Occupational Therapy CEUs | Marriage & Family Therapy CE

Learning Level: Intermediate

Course Type: Online

Course Abstract

This course will demystify the diagnosis and treatment of chronic pain, the role and limitations of pain medications, and how to identify when pain relieving drugs may be harmful to clients. Participants will understand how to conduct a complete evaluation of clients with a pain disorder, chronic pain syndrome and co-morbid psychiatric diagnoses. Although the majority of chronic pain patients do not abuse pain medications, mental health practitioners need skills to assess when active substance abuse is present and develop appropriate treatment objectives. This course will also give special attention to specific clinical challenges for mental health professionals who treat clients with chronic pain, including suicide assessment and treatment non-adherence.

TBD Closeout Course #30-35 | 2006 | 34 pages | 20 posttest questions

Learning Objectives

1. Learn the key concepts for understanding a client's report and response to pain.
2. List the key components of a pain assessment.
3. Improve understanding of risks and benefits of narcotic and non-narcotic pain treatments.
4. Identify and define key terms for differential diagnosis of problematic use of drug therapies by patients with chronic pain.
5. Describe elements of a treatment plan for active addiction in clients with chronic pain.

Professional Development Resources is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists; by the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC) to offer home study continuing education for NCCs (#5590); the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB #1046, ACE Program); the Florida Boards of Clinical Social Work, Marriage & Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling (#BAP346) and Psychology & School Psychology (#50-1635); the Ohio Counselor, Social Worker & MFT Board (#RCST100501); the South Carolina Board of Professional Counselors & MFTs (#193); and the Texas Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (#114) and State Board of Social Worker Examiners (#5678).


This online course provides instant access to the course materials (PDF download) and CE test. After enrolling, click on My Account and scroll down to My Active Courses. From here you’ll see links to download/print the course materials and take the CE test (you can print the test to mark your answers on it while reading the course document).

Successful completion of the online CE test (80% required to pass, 3 chances to take) and course evaluation are required to earn a certificate of completion. Click here to learn more.

About the Author(s)

Ellen Lavin, PhD, is a California-licensed psychologist who practices substance abuse counseling / drug counseling, psychology, clinical psychology and psychotherapy in San Diego, California.

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