Improve your ability to provide patient education about the psychotropic medications they are prescribed.  This course provides a thorough discussion of psychotropic medications.

Available as a live course for contracted groups. Contact us for information.

Developed by: Karen Albig Smith, LMFT, LCAS, MAC, CAP, SAP, SAE

Revised 2022

Description:  This course overviews aspects of brain and nerve anatomy that are relevant to understanding the effects of both psychotropic medications, and controlled and illicit substances. A discussion of the processes of absorption, distribution, metabolization, and elimination of drugs in the body will illuminate why withdrawal, tolerance, and other physiological phenomenon occur with psychoactive substance use disorders (PSUDs).  There is a discussion several classifications of neurotransmitters, what is known or believed about their action in the nervous system, a discussion of the classification of psychotropic medications; the generic/brand medications in these classifications, significant side effects, and indications.  The last module will cover the classes of controlled and illicit substances.  Illustrations are used to show the action of these substances in the synapse to help participants understand intoxication, dependence, overdose, and tolerance. The US DEA schedule of controlled substances and drug trafficking penalties is provided.

1.   Participants will be able to describe basic brain and nerve anatomy.
2.  Participants will be able to discuss the processes of absorption, distribution, metabolization, and elimination of substances in the body.
3.  Participants will be able to identify various neurotransmitters and describe their action.
4.  Participants will be able to classify and describe the possible side effects of psychotropic medications and their applications in treatment.
5.  Participants will be able to explain the effect of the major classes of controlled and illicit substances on brain and nerve physiology.

CE Credits:  6

Hour One: Brain and nerve anatomy.
Hour Two: Absorption, Distribution, Metabolization, Elimination.
Hour Three: Neurotransmitters,
Hour Four: Side effects, Applications in treatment.
Hour Five: Medication classes and synaptic action.
Hour Six: Illicit substances and drugs of abuse effects on brain physiology.

CE Broker #:  20-10033

Methods: Pre-test, study guide, posttest and evaluation, internet sources via URLs, Q&A by email.

Content Areas:  Psychopharmacology, Addictions, Social and cultural foundations, Applications to practice, Clinical evaluation and assessment, Psychotropic medications, Co-existing conditions, Dual disorders.

Purpose:  Learners will be better able to understand the physiological effects of psychotropic medications and be equipped to educate clients and inform physicians and other intervention specialists regarding patient symptoms and reactions to medications.

Target Audience: Social workers, marriage and family therapists, licensed professional counselors, mental health counselors, nurses, employee assistance professionals, addiction professionals, behavioral health technicians, and other allied professionals who may work with these populations.


National Board for Certified Counselors (N.B.C.C.) Program Services has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP #: 5978.                  
Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified.           
Program Services is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

Social Work:  State Licensing Board Approval Information for Continuing Education.
The following states accept our national approvals (NBCC) for social work CE:  Alabama, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin.
We are approved in two states for social work (Florida and Alabama).
The following states accept Program Services CE if other state SW boards have approved our CE. (Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan,  Mississippi, New Jersey, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia.)    
These states specify cross-disciplinary CE is acceptable, have no specified requirements/limitations, or that social workers can self- submit after the fact: 
Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Maine, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Wyoming, New Mexico.
Program Services has not applied for CE for social work in New York, Hawaii, Iowa, and Minnesota.

National Association of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) #86395
Florida Board of Nursing FBN #2456 CEBroker provider # 50-1651
Florida Board of Clinical Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, and Mental Health Counseling: BAP #162 CEBroker provider # 50-1651

Florida Certification Board, Inc. #159A
Alabama State Board of Social Work Examiners #0339
Georgia Board of Nursing  CEBroker provider #50-1651
South Carolina Board of Nursing  CEBroker provider #50-1651
District Columbia Board of Nursing CEBroker provider #50-1651
Allied profession approvals can be found at

Online Course

CE Broker#:
CE Credits:

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