Basic Pharmacology in Mental Health

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The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) offers a seven-week online course, which focuses on basic pharmacology of substance abuse and mental health. It is the ideal course for care providers, front-line workers, clinicians, and case managers working in substance abuse programs and mental health programs. The topic areas covered are pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, how neurotransmitters work as well as the effect of substance use on the brain and the effects of psychiatric medications on the brain.
On completion of this basic pharmacology course individuals will be able to:
• Describe three pharmacological approaches in the treatment of substance abuse problems
• Describe the management of common medication side effects
• Describe the mechanisms of specific drug actions in a brain
• Describe the four basic concepts of pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics
• Identify the relationship between psychiatric disorders and medication management
• Identify basic neurobiological mechanisms.
An elective has to be taken within a four-year period on completion of this core course and any other courses taken will not count towards the certificate a graduate will receive. A concurrent disorders course must be taken first and after completion, graduates have to complete two of the following electives listed:
• Youth and drugs and mental health course
• Motivational interviewing introduction course
• Legal issues in mental health care in Ontario
• Interactions between substances of abuse and psychiatric medicines
• Integrating of a concurrent disorder approach into withdrawal management
• Collaboration with families affected by concurrent disorders
• Admission, assessment, and discharge tools
The cost of the basic pharmacology in mental health and substance use is a registration fee of $325 and $150 CAMH Staff fee. The course can be taken on its own as it qualifies as elective for a concurrent disorders certificate program. Applicant interested in taking this course can register online any time from October 6 – December 6 2013 for the next course.

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