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  • Dentists
  • Dental Hygienists
  • Dental Assisting
Hours: 3 Contact Hours
Author(s): Ronald M. Mancini, DDS
Peer Reviewer(s): Veronica Powers, DMD
Item#: L0789
Contents: 1 Course Book (50 pages)
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Chemical Dependency and Substance Abuse: A Review for the Dental Professional, 2nd Edition

Price $29.95
Item # L0789
When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!

Release Date: July 30, 2013

Review Date: November 2, 2016

Expiration Date: November 1, 2019


In 2013, an estimated 24.6 million Americans aged 12 or older – 9.4 percent of the population – had used an illicit drug, and an estimated 22.7 million Americans (8.6 percent) needed treatment for a problem related to drugs or alcohol. In 2015, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration made more than 31,000 drug-related arrests, and in 2014, seized nearly 3,000 kg of methamphetamine and close to 50,000 dosage units of hallucinogens.

Chemical dependency and substance abuse affect all segments of the population. Dentists 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.

It is vital that dental professionals become familiar with these substances and their effects, not only to recognize substance abuse, but also in order to take necessary precautions during treatment and when prescribing medications. Psychoactive substances, stimulants, sedatives, hallucinogens, opiates, and a wide range of inhalants can produce a variety of short-term and long-term effects, including tachycardia, hallucination, euphoria, brain damage, fatal respiratory and circulatory depression, psychosis, cancer, liver disease, and death.



AGD Subject Code: 157
Western Schools designates this activity for 3 continuing education credits.


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.


Ronald M. Mancini, DDS, received his bachelor’s degree from Emory University, and went on to earn his DDS degree from the same institution. He maintains a private dental practice in Bethesda, Maryland. He is a member of the American Dental Association (ADA), the Maryland State Dental Association (MSDA), and the Southern Maryland Dental Society (SMDS). Dr. Mancini has held several positions with the SMDS, including those of trustee, president, vice president, treasurer, and editor, and has served as a delegate and head of the delegation to the MSDA House of Delegates.


Veronica Powers, DMD, received a BS degree from Providence College and a DMD degree from the Oregon Health & Science University. After working for four years as a general dentist in Portland, Oregon, Dr. Powers returned to New York City to serve as lead dentist for Phoenix House Foundation in Brooklyn, New York, where she provided comprehensive treatment for the residents of a rehabilitation facility. In this capacity, she performed simple and surgical extractions and root canals and placed crowns, bridges, and removable prosthodontics. Dr. Powers created the protocol for the day-to-day management of the clinic and became especially adept at treating anxious patients. Now in private practice, Dr. Powers is licensed to practice dentistry in the state of New York, maintains registration with the Drug Enforcement Administration, and is CPR-certified. She has provided volunteer dentistry in India and in Chiapas, Mexico, and has worked with the American Dental Association’s Give Kids a Smile program in the United States.

  • Courses must be completed on or before the expiration date noted in the course description above.
  • You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course and receive a certificate of completion.
  • Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that the course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Western Schools’ policy not to accept commercial support.
  • All persons involved in the planning and development of this course have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to the course content.
  • There are no prerequisites for this course.