Find Your Board CEU Requirements & Accreditations:
Return to Course List

Heroin Use and the Opioid Pandemic

Author: Kellie Wilson, PharmD

CE: 3 hours Pharmacology: 0.5 hour
Rated 4.7 out of 5.0 based on 11073 reviews

Course Summary

In recent years, there has been an alarming increase in heroin use among both men and women, in virtually all age groups and at all socioeconomic levels. Some of the biggest increases have occurred in demographic groups which have historically shown a low level of heroin use, such as women, the privately insured, and those with high incomes. Studies show that heroin use has changed from an inner-city, minority and low income problem to one distributed primarily outside of large urban areas, reaching an epidemic level. Factors that contribute to the development of a substance disorder, as it is described and defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) are discussed. Additionally, the physiological consequences of heroin use are highlighted, such as changes in the physical structure and physiology of the brain, and long-term imbalances in neuronal and hormonal systems that are not easily reversed.

Course Format


Course Syllabus

I.       Introduction
II.       DSM-5 and Substance Use Disorder
1.        Developmental Factors
III.       Heroin Use Disorder
1.        History of Heroin: Properties and Use
2.        Forms of Heroin
3.        Prevalence of Heroin Use
4.        International Use
5.        A Deadly Epidemic
IV.      Methods and Action of Heroin Use
1.        Mechanism of Action
2.        Physiological Effects
3.        Short-term Effects
4.        Long-term Effects
V.      Prescription Opioid Use and Heroin Use
VI.      Medical Complications
VII.     Black Tar Heroin Use
1.        History of Black Tar Heroin
2.        Methods of Use
3.        Drug Effects
4.        Drug Use Risk
5.        Signs of Black Tar Heroin Use
6.        Physical Signs of Black Tar Heroin Use
7.      Psychological and Behavioral Signs of Black Tar Heroin Use
8.       Treatment
VIII.    Role of Health Clinicians
IX.     Treatment of Heroin Use Disorder
1.        Principles of Effective Treatment
2.        Treatment Stages
3.        Medication Use in Treatment
4.        Behavioral Therapies
5.        Outpatient and Inpatient Treatment
6.        Successful Treatment Steps
X.       Heroin Toxicity
1.        Causes of Heroin Overdose
2.        Morbidity and Mortality
3.        Clinical Presentation of Toxicity
4.        Physical Signs/Symptoms
5.        Differential Diagnoses
6.        Physical Workup
7.        Imaging Studies
8.        Emergency Interventional Procedures
XI.    Treatment for Heroin Toxicity
1.        Special Populations
2.        Pharmacotherapy
3.        Surgical Treatment
4.        Specialty Consultations
5.        Healthcare Professional Attitudes in Treating Substance Use
XII.     Drug Use in Health Professionals
1.        Substance Use Triggers
XIII.    Case Studies: Heroin Overdose
1.        Case Study 1
2.        Case Study 2
3.        Case Study 3
XIV.    Summary


Most of our courses will satisfy your CEU requirements. However, you can double check by using the search option at the top of this page.
You can download all the required materials above where it says "Preview the material"
No prerequisites are required for this course.
Yes. Once you read the material and complete the evaluation you can print your certificate right away from your "My Account" page.

How it Works


1. Confirm Your


2. Read the


4. Print Your