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November 14, 2011

HealthForumOnline Adds an Online Continuing Education (CE) Course for Health Professionals on Caffeine Use and Abuse

HealthForumOnline (HFO) announces a new online continuing education (CE/CEU) course entitled Caffeine Use as a Modulator of Mood, Emotions, and Neurocognitions to their library of nationally-approved CE/CEU courses for psychologists, social workers, counselors, and nurses. Caffeine is the most widely used psychotropic stimulant, with 80-85% of the U.S. population ingesting caffeine daily. The daily average caffeine intake is equal to 4 mg per kg body weight, and some consumers exceed 15 mg/kg daily. Caffeine can influence mood and neurocognition and individuals with preexisting attentional deficits or distress may abuse caffeine as self-medication. The DSM-IV-TR includes diagnoses of Caffeine-Induced Disorders, such as Caffeine Intoxication, within Substance-Related Disorders. Thus, the effects of caffeine use, and withdrawal, are important topics for healthcare professionals. However, due to the social sanctioning of "Starbucks" abuse of caffeine is disregarded among healthcare providers. This online CE course explores caffeine use/abuse from a psychological and physiological viewpoint, reviewing research on its stimulant effects and complex neurochemical and neuroanatomical mechanisms, along with clinical treatment implications. HFO's over 75 online CE/CEU courses are fast, convenient and cost-effective with free ongoing access to course updates.

Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) November 14, 2011 –HealthForumOnline (HFO), a nationally-approved (APA, ASWB, NBCC, PSNA, CA-BBS) provider of online continuing education (CE) for psychologists, social workers, counselors, nurses and other allied healthcare professionals announces the addition of a new online CE/CEU course, Caffeine Use as a Modulator of Mood, Emotions, and Neurocognitions to their extensive online CE resource library.

For some time, caffeine has been the most widely used psychotropic stimulant among consumers, with upwards of 80-85% of the U.S. adult population ingesting coffee or tea daily, as well as consuming other foods containing caffeine. The average caffeine intake among U.S. consumers has been estimated at approximately 200-280 mg per day alone. This intake amount is equal to an average of 4 mg per kg body weight per day, and some high-level caffeine consumers can even exceed 15 mg/kg daily.

Many of the most popular beverages in the world contain caffeine. Tibetans were known to measure certain distances by the number of cups of tea consumed during travel. A number of famous figures in history have been avid caffeine users, with Johann Bach composing a piece of music entitled "Caffeine Cantata." By the mid-1990s tea and coffee became the most popular drinks on the planet and 86% of the 12.7 billion gallons of soda consumed annually contained caffeine. The popularity of caffeinated drinks will likely continue to increase given the widespread popularity of coffee chains and the advent of caffeinated energy/sports drinks in recent years.

Contrary to other substances such as nicotine or opiates, caffeine naturally occurs in a large variety of other plants. Many types of over the counter and prescribed medications contain caffeine as well, including some antihistamines, stimulants, pain relievers, diet pills, sinus treatments and decongestants. As of 1996, 2000 or more OTC drugs available were estimated to contain caffeine: as much as 200 mg of caffeine per dose on average.

These statistics are important because caffeine consumption can influence mood (i.e., increased positive mood, decreased irritability); neurocognition (improved information processing, reduced distractibility); and alertness (i.e., increased vigilance, increased wakefulness). Further, preexisting vulnerability to attentional deficits or emotional distress may predispose individuals to use or even abuse caffeine as self-medication for these difficulties. Thus, the vast array of caffeinated products have potential for abuse, physical harm, and negative health consequences, if used in large amounts either alone or in combination with one another, in a situation analogous to polypharmacy. The DSM-IV-TR (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) includes diagnoses of Caffeine-Induced Disorders, such as Caffeine, within Substance-Related Disorders.

Taken together, the effects of caffeine use and resulting withdrawal from caffeine abstinence are important topics for healthcare providers. However, the social sanctioning of the "Starbucks" movement may explain why overuse or abuse of caffeine can be minimized or disregarded among healthcare providers. This online CE/CEU course explores caffeine use/abuse from a psychological and physiological viewpoint. A review of research on the stimulant effects of caffeine, many of them similar to other commonly abused substances, and the complex neurochemical and neuroanatomical mechanisms underlying such effects on one's mood, cognition, and physiology is provided. Lastly, clinical applications and treatment implications are presented.

Psychologists, social workers, counselors, nurses and other allied health professionals can chose from HFO's 20 categories of continuing education (CE) topics related to health psychology and behavioral medicine (i.e., ethics, cancer adaptation, women's health, cultural diversity, eating disorders, reproduction/sexuality, aging/gerontology, pediatric behavioral medicine, assessment, chemical dependency, chronic/acute illness, clinical intervention, group therapy, infectious disease, long-term care, neuropsychology, pain management, spirituality, LGBT issues) containing more than 75 online CE courses that are fast, convenient and cost-effective. All HFO CE courses and supporting materials are available online or as downloadable, transportable PDFs. Participants print their own CE certificates. Lastly, HFO routinely updates our online CE courses and enables customers to review these updates for free even after they have completed the CE activity and generated their CE certificate.

For more information on this course or a complete listing of titles in our online CE resource library, visit HealthForumOnline.com.

About HealthForumOnline:

HealthForumOnline (HFO) is approved as a provider of CE courses by the American Psychological Association, the National Board of Certified Counselors, the Association of Social Work Boards, and several state professional organizations, including the Pennsylvania State Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation, and the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. HFO's CE Program's Advisory Committee and authors are comprised of over 60 nationally-recognized experts in behavioral medicine.

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