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Digital Seminar

Substance Abuse and Mental Illness that Complicate Medical Care

  • The Latest Street Drugs & the Impact on the Brain and Behavior
  • Motivational Interviewing Strategies for Sensitive Patient Questions
  • Drug and Alcohol Withdrawal Assessment and Treatment Strategies
  • Challenges Treating the Medical Patient who has an Acute Mental Illness
  • Emergency Interventions: Therapeutic & Pharmacological

“Elizabeth has severe Degenerative Joint Disease and is scheduled for a hip replacement. She is also an alcoholic. As a healthcare professional, it is important to prevent her from having complications from her substance abuse such as withdrawal, poor healing, and falls.”

With the pervasive problems our society has with Mental Illness and Substance Abuse, it is imperative that healthcare professionals have an understanding about how to most optimally meet the diverse medical and psychosocial needs of those trusted to our care. Pamela J. Ridley RN, MSN, APRN, BC, a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Adult Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing, looks forward to sharing her expertise throughout this practice changing one-day event. She will tackle various subjects including:

  • The Latest Street Drugs & the Impact on the Brain
  • Medical Consequences of Drug and Alcohol Abuse
  • Drug and Alcohol Withdrawal Assessment and Treatment Strategies
  • Motivational Interviewing Strategies for the Sensitive Patient Questions
  • Challenges Treating the Medical Patient who has an Acute Mental Illness
  • Distinguishing between Delirium, Substance Abuse or Mental Illness? Could it be all 3?
  • Emergency Interventions: Therapeutic & Pharmacological

You are guaranteed to leave this workshop with practical new tools to assist with the fast-paced, ever-changing, often-challenging…..but yet so incredibly rewarding profession we work in.


Product Details
Average Rating:
Pamela J. Ridley, RN, MSN, APRN, BC
5 Hours 39 Minutes
Audio and Video
Dec 11, 2014
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Seminar
Never expires.


Continuing Professional Development Certificates - PESI Australia, in collaboration with PESI in the USA, offers quality online continuing professional development events from the leaders in the field at a standard recognized by professional associations including psychology, social work, occupational therapy, alcohol and drug professionals, counselling and psychotherapy. On completion of the training, a Professional Development Certificate is issued after the individual has answered and submitted a quiz and course evaluation. This online program is worth 5.75 hours CPD.



Pamela J. Ridley, RN, MSN, APRN, BC Related seminars and products:



Pamela J. Ridley, RN, MSN, APRN, BC, currently practices as a nurse educator for a 42 bed acute psychiatric and substance abuse inpatient treatment facility. Previous work experience includes: working in state psychiatric facilities, county mental health departments, inpatient psychiatric nursing, nursing school instructor, private outpatient medication management and therapy, psychiatric nurse liaison for a general community hospital, and director of psychiatric services. She is very much a hands-on leader that enjoys improving people’s lives.

Pam graduated from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee with her MSN. She is a Certified Clinical Nurse Specialist in Adult Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing. Additionally, she has Prescriptive Authority in the state of South Carolina and is a Senior Level Certified instructor of Crisis Prevention Institute Non-violent Crisis Intervention and Applied Physical Training. Her expertise has been sought nationally through presentations for interdisciplinary healthcare audiences throughout the country.

Ms. Ridley is passionate about her work and knows that the way to improve the outcomes of those who suffer from dual diagnosis is to educate those who can make a difference. She has an interesting way to incorporate these challenging topics so that they are applied to everyday practice situations for learning to leave an impression. By disseminating key facts, storytelling and real-life case scenarios she makes it easy to learn and apply the latest best practice guidelines.

Speaker Disclosures

Financial: Pamela Ridley receives compensation as Nurse Educator from Rebound Behavioral Health. She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.

Nonfinancial: Pamela Ridley has no relevant nonfinancial relationship to disclose.

Additional Info

Program Information

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.


  • Assess your patient for mental illness and substance abuse in a healthcare setting.
  • Formulate an appropriate plan of treatment for patients with substance abuse/mental illness and co-occurring medical issues.
  • Select appropriate pharmacological interventions for the treatment of drug and alcohol treatment and withdrawal.
  • Distinguish between delirium and mental illness.
  • Recognize the medical complications of drug and alcohol abuse.
  • Explain the neurobiology of substance abuse, particularly the impact of the newer street drugs in use.
  • Choose appropriate therapeutic approaches when treating the dually diagnosed patient.
  • Manage your own identified frustrations when treating the patient with mental illness or substance abuse to be most effective.


Dual Diagnosis -  Why Care?

  • A significant problem
  • Poor prognosis? Recidivism and non-adherence
  • Achieving more positive outcomes

Street Drug Updates

  • Heroin and oxycontin
  • Bath salts and other stimulants
  • Spice
  • Marijuana
  • Molly and other hallucinogens

Neurobiology of Substance Abuse and Mental Illness

  • “Normal” neurobiology and anatomy
  • Substance abuse effects on the brain
  • Mental illness effects on the brain
  • How medication assisted treatment helps
  • Dopaminergic transmission
  • Medications that impact dopamine receptor sites

Assessment and Interviewing Techniques

  • Screening Brief Intervention and Referral for
  • Treatment (SBIRT) - for drug and alcohol abuse
  • CAGE questionnaire - To detect alcoholism
  • Motivational techniques to promote open and honest communication from the patient
  • What is YOUR bias? Avoiding the “Judging Trap”

Is it Delirium, Mental Illness or Substance Abuse?

  • Assessment tools and screening interventions
  • Causes of delirium seen in healthcare
  • Current treatment options
  • Your patient has all three – now what?

Interventions: Therapeutic and Pharmacological

  • Motivational interviewing
  • Levels of intervention
  • Medications to treat alcohol abuse
  • Medications to treat opioid dependence
  • Medications to treat cocaine abuse
  • Antipsychotics, mood stabilizers and antidepressants
  • Medication side effects that impact the medical health of patients
  • Planning for discharge: Outpatient treatment options

Drug and Alcohol Withdrawal in the Medical Setting

  • Acute symptoms of withdrawal
  • Withdrawal prevention
  • Withdrawal protocols/medication strategies
  • Safety for patients/family/staff
  • Narcotic abuse
  • Pain management
  • Other challenges when caring for the substance abuser

Co-morbid Medical Illnesses

  • Chronic medical illness and mental illness
    • Respiratory illnesses and depression and/or anxiety
    • Diabetes and depression
    • Cardiovascular disease and depression
    • Chronic medical illness and psychotic spectrum disorders
  • Medical illness as a result of substance abuse
    • Cardiovascular
    • Hormonal
    • Respiratory
    • Neurological
  • Emergency treatments for those with mental illness and substance abuse

Target Audience

Addiction Counselors, Case Managers, Nurses, Physician Assistants, Social Workers, and other Healthcare Professionals



Overall:      4.9

Total Reviews: 8

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Your satisfaction is our goal and our guarantee. Concerns should be addressed to: PO Box 1000, Eau Claire, WI 54702-1000 or email

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