Preventing Drug Abuse

Continuing education online courses in Drug Abuse Prevention.

D14. Preventing Drug Abuse, 3 CE-hours, $21

Course Description: The field of Drug-Abuse includes the use of all harmful drugs, namely use of illegal drugs, misuse of medications, and the misuse of products with caffeine.

Objectives: At the end of this course, you will 1. understand drug-testing, 2. describe the use and effect of drugs, 3. explain treatment and prevention strategies.

Course Format: Online linked resources and lectures that you can use anytime 24/7. One multi-choice test.

Course Developers and Instructors: R. Klimes, PhD, MPH (John Hopkins U), author of articles on drug abuse and alcohol prevention and wellness.

Course Time: About three hours for online study, test taking with course evaluation feedback and certificate printing.


Professor Rudolf Klimes, PhD, welcomes you to this online course. Keep going.

START the course here. TAKE the exam at the end. PAY after the exam.

Course Test: Click here for the self-correcting test that requires 75% for a passing grade.

D14. Preventing Drug Abuse, 3 CE hours


For self-study and exploration: Describe in some detail your use of all harmful drugs, or if you have not used any, the use of harmful drugs by someone you know. Give types and kind, amounts in a given time, its history, and people, reasons and emotions that supported the described drug use.


1.1 Use of Harmful Drugs

The field of Drug-Abuse includes the use of all harmful drugs, namely 1) use of illegal drugs, 2) misuse of medications, and the 3) misuse of products with caffeine. Consider if you or those close to you fall into any of the above areas. If there is a chance that that is the case, first note and document your observations over a one-month period, and if needed and appropriate, test for drug use.

1.2 Indicators of Likely Drug Use

The main indicators of likely drug use are:

  1. Possession of drugs and drug-related paraphernalia.
  2. Odor of drugs and cover-up scents.
  3. Drug-related publications, slogans on clothing, and participation in the drug culture.
  4. Excessive conversation about drugs or strong opposition to discussing drugs.



Describe how the use of specific drugs has affected you or the person given above in Part 1. Use physiological, behavioral, emotional, spiritual and social perspectives.

2.1 Commonly Abused Drugs


DEFINITION: American or Indian hemp used as mind-altering drug. It increases blood pressure, contains more carcinogens than cigarettes. It contains THC. Its resign is called hashish.

EFFECTS INCLUDE: Muscular tremors, transient muscular rigidity, euphoria, relaxed inhibitions, disorientation, coated tongue, marijuana debris in mouth, odor of burnt marijuana, gait ataxia, impaired perception and attention, impaired coordination and balance, thick, slurred speech, impaired divided attention, destroys brain cells, hilarity without cause, time distortion, bloodshot eyes, dry mouth and throat.


DURATION: Onset 8 – 9 seconds, Peak 10 – 30 minutes, Loaded 2 – 3 hours, Normal 3 – 6 hours

ADMINISTRATION: Smoked, Injected, Orally


DEFINITION: Gas or vapors which are inhaled to produce a high. Hypertension and increased pulse rate.

EFFECTS INCLUDE: Impaired coordination and balance, disorientation or confusion, thick slurred speech, gait ataxia, odor of substance used, impaired divided attention, very alert, keen senses, hallucinations, dizziness, scrambled words and disconnected sentences.

EFFECTS OF OVERDOSE INCLUDE: Coma, brain damage, cardiac arrhythmia, death.

DURATION: 6 – 8 hours



METHAMPHETAMINE is a central nervous system stimulant with a high potential for abuse and dependence. A synthetic drug, methamphetamine is closely related chemically to amphetamine, but produces greater effects on the central nervous system. The drug’s euphoric effects are similar to but longer lasting than those of cocaine. Methamphetamine takes the form of a white, odorless, and bitter- tasting crystalline powder, readily soluble in water or alcohol. Street methamphetamine is referred to by many names including “meth,” “speed,” “zip,” “go-fast,” “cristy,” “chalk,” and “crank.”

Methamphetamine can be smoked, injected intravenously, snorted, or ingested orally. The drug alters mood in different ways, depending on how it is taken. Immediately after smoking or intravenous injection, the user experiences an intense “rush” or “flash” that lasts only a few minutes and is described as extremely pleasurable. Smoking or injecting produces effects fastest, within 5 to 10 seconds. Snorting or ingesting produces euphoria–a high but not a rush. Snorting produces effects within 3 to 5 minutes, and ingesting orally produces effects within 15 to 20 minutes. Even small amounts of methamphetamine can produce euphoria, enhanced wakefulness, increased physical activity, decreased appetite, and increased respiration. Other central nervous system effects include writhing, jerky, flailing movements, irritability, insomnia, confusion, tremors, anxiety, aggression, hyperthermia, and convulsions. Hyperthermia and convulsions can result in death. Cardiovascular side effects include chest pain and hypertension and can result in cardiovascular collapse and death. In addition, methamphetamine causes increased heart rate and blood pressure and can cause irreversible damage to blood vessels in the brain, producing strokes.

(SOURCE: NIDA Notes, Volume 11, Number 5, November/December 1996, p. 19, )

Learn Deeper: Make a chart showing the drugs and 1) what they look like, 2) their names and 3) effect.

2.2 Updated Drug Abuse Information

Update you drug information from NIDA

Join Together is a news aggregation service from the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids that provides daily or breaking news on the top substance abuse and addiction news that impacts your work, life and community.

2.3 Drug use among socio-economic levels and races

Learn Deeper: Draw 3 timelines, one each for children, teens and parents, showing changes in drug-trends.



Describe in some detail the steps that you will/would take to prevent drug abuse for yourself or someone close to you. What approaches, concepts, methods, resources, etc. would you use and why would you use them in this particular case?

3.1 Drugs and the Individual: Prevention Principles

From: Preventing Drug Use Among Children and Adolescents A Research Based Guide, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health

Prevention programs should be designed to enhance “protective factors” and move toward reversing or reducing known “risk factors.”

Prevention programs should target all forms of drug abuse, including the use of tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, and inhalants.

Prevention programs should include skills to resist drugs when offered, strengthen personal commitments against drug use, and increase social competency (e.g., in communications, peer relationships, self-efficacy, and assertiveness), in conjunction with reinforcement of attitudes against drug use.

Prevention programs for adolescents should include interactive methods, such as peer discussion groups, rather than didactic teaching techniques alone.

Prevention programs should include a parents’ or caregivers’ component that reinforces what the children are learning-such as facts about drugs and their harmful effects-and that opens opportunities for family discussions about use of legal and illegal substances and family policies about their use.

Prevention programs should be long-term, over the school career with repeat interventions to reinforce the original prevention goals. For example, school-based efforts directed at elementary and middle school students should include booster sessions to help with critical transitions from middle to high school.

Family-focused prevention efforts have a greater impact than strategies that focus on parents only or children only.

Community programs that include media campaigns and policy changes,such as new regulations that restrict access to alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs, are more effective when they are accompanied by school and family interventions.

Community programs need to strengthen norms against drug use in all drug abuse prevention settings, including the family, the school, and the community.

Schools offer opportunities to reach all populations and also serve as important settings for specific subpopulations at risk for drug abuse, such as children with behavior problems or learning disabilities and those who are potential dropouts.

Prevention programming should be adapted to address the specific nature of the drug abuse problem in the local community.

The higher the level of risk of the target population, the more intensive the prevention effort must be and the earlier it must begin.

Prevention programs should be age-specific, developmentally appropriate, and culturally sensitive.

Effective prevention programs are cost-effective. For every dollar spent on drug use prevention, communities can save 4 to 5 dollars in costs for drug abuse treatment and counseling.

(Source: Know the prevention principles)

Drug Abuse Prevention reduces risks and increases protection.

Learn Deeper: Give ways you will implement the 5 most relevant prevention principles in your community.

3.2 Kids Connect

“Kids Connect” offers children ages seven to fifteen a way to share their feelings, have fun, make new friends and gain factual information regarding alcohol and other drugs by providing them with an education/support group that meets once a week for ten weeks. Each session begins with the children sharing their feelings by using laminated cards which reflect their emotional states. A discussion period regarding alcohol and other drug issues follows. Afterward, they do “something fun” which reinforces the lesson for the day.

For example, one activity shows how people get addicted. The kids coat their hands with shaving cream, which at first feels good and makes their skin soft and smooth. But once they’ve rubbed them together and all the cream has been absorbed, their hands are sticky and “yucky,” and more shaving cream is required. A processing period helps them understand that like the shaving cream, alcohol and other drugs may feel good at first, but that the effects soon wear off and they’re left only with the need for more.

(Source: )


3.2 Drugs and the Community:

Update yourself on recent developments in the field.

Drug Free America

Addiction, by Cohen

Narcotics Anonymous

Marijuana Anonymous

Recovery 12+

Cocaine Anonymous

Steps in Stopping Substance Abuse: 

  1. assessment
  2. treatment planning
  3. changing behavior
  4. groups and families
  5. maintaining behavioral changes
  6. rehabilitation


Study this web-site for 3 hours for an approved 3-hours Continuing Education Certificate (0.3 CEUs).  Click here for the self-correcting test

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