4 CEUs/PDAs    $92.00

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California Board Approved
CAB Category 1

Out of 1 Reviews

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  • Handout

Understanding chemical dependence from an AOM perspective module 2: Common drugs
by Katherine Berry


This module provides a comprehensive overview of a range of different drugs. Alcohol, tobacco, prescription medications and illicit drugs are all pharmacologically diverse with different abuse liability potential. They belong to different drug classes, affect different neurological pathways and organs - with different effects and health consequences.


Specific information about a range of commonly used drugs, their effects and appropriate management is provided. This includes:
- Drug class: that is the type of drug and neurobiological mechanism of action.
- Route of administration: how the drug is used, how it enters the blood stream, the speed of onset and intensity of its effects.
- Effects: the desired effects as well as unwanted effects or health consequences.
- Abuse liability potential: how ´´likeable´´ a drug is and what makes it addictive. This is determined by the drug´s speed of onset, intensity of effects and duration of action and excretion.
- Toxological complications: longer term health risks, negative effects at higher doses and overdose.
- Minimizing risks: strategies to minimize the health risks and reduce other drug related harms.
- AOM perspective: each drug is profiled within an acupuncture and oriental medicine theoretical framework.
- Drugs: Alcohol, tobacco, cannabis, benzodiazepines (prescritption sedatives).Central Nervous System stimulants (amphetamines, ecstasy and cocaine), opioids (heroin), hallucinogens, inhalants and solvents (e.g. glue). We also briefly look at drug use during pregnancy.

Chemical dependence is a fascinating area of medicine. The pharmacological and psychological issues are complex and diverse and outcomes vary greatly and depend on all available sources to provide support and care.

  • Tolerance and withdrawal
  • AOM theory of chemical dependence
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco smoking
  • Cannabis
  • Benzodiazepines
  • CNS stimulants
  • Hallucinogens
  • Opioids
  • Inhalants and solvents
  • Drug use in pregnancy

Customer Reviews

by Ching Liu

The Western perspective on the subject was fantastic, and very helpful. However, I'm not convinced that what she said about the OM perspective was always correct/complete. I feel like it was often too influenced by the biomedical perspective. For example, she said that alcohol is a Yin-natured substance, because it is a CNS depressant. That may be true, but alcohol is also hot (she did mention this), and it moves blood strongly (something she didn't mention at all). Overall, I would actually say that this makes alcohol a Yang-natured substance. Also, she didn't mention the way cannabis soothes the Liver qi. Actually, now that I'm thinking about it, I would have loved more OM perspective on how people choose their drugs -- what they do for them. For example, people with Lr Qi stag gravitate toward cannabis, people with Ht Fire gravitate towards benzodiazepines, etc.

Course Objectives - 4 CEUs/PDAs

- Increase awareness of specific drugs commonly used in the community
- Increase knowledge and etiology of the risks and consequences of different drugs
- Increase diagnostic abilities and skills required to assess patients with chemical dependence disorders
- Increase knowledge of strategies to reduce associated harms of each drugs
* 1 hour presentation with 3 hours self-directed learning: handouts, weblinks & assessment