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

Philadelphia, PA (PRWEB) December 21, 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.

Caffeine is 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 (Hughes, Oliveto, Helzer, Higgins, & Bickel, 1992; Smith & Tola, 1998). The average caffeine intake among U.S. consumers has been estimated at approximately 200-280 mg per day (Anderson & Horne, 2008). 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 (Smith & Tola, 1998).

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 (Lundsberg, 1998). 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. Further, as of 1996, 2000 or more over the counter drugs available were estimated to contain caffeine: as much as 200 mg of caffeine per dose on average (Hughes et al., 1992).

These statistics are important because caffeine consumption influences mood, neurocognition, and alertness. Further, preexisting vulnerability to attentional deficits or emotional distress may predispose individuals to use or even abuse caffeine as self-medication. 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 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR; American Psychiatric Association, 2000) 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 ones 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 HFOs 20 categories of continuing education (CE) topics related to health psychology and behavioral medicine (i.e., ethics, cancer adaptation, womens 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

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 Centers Commission on Accreditation, and the California Board of Behavioral Sciences. HFOs CE Programs Advisory Committee and authors are comprised of over 60 nationally-recognized experts in behavioral medicine.


American Psychiatric Association (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed, text revision.). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.

Anderson, C., & Horne, J. (2008). Placebo response to caffeine improves reaction time performance in sleepy people. Human Psychopharmacology: Clinical & Experimental, 23, 333-336.

Hughes, J.R., Oliveto, A. H., Helzer, J.E., Higgins, S.T., & Bickel, W.K. (1992). Should caffeine abuse, dependence, or withdrawal be added to DSM-IV and ICD-10? American Journal of Psychiatry, 149, 33 40.

Lundsberg, L. S. (1998). Caffeine consumption. In G. A. Spiller (Ed.), Caffeine (pp. 199-224). Boca Raton: CRC Press.

Smith, B. D., & Tola, K. (1998). Caffeine: Effects on psychological functioning and performance. In G. A. Spiller, Caffeine (pp. 251-299). Boca Raton: CRC Press.


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