Stop It Where It Starts!

Coaching Families in Drug Abuse Prevention

by J. Theodore Brown, Jr., Ph.D.

Approved for 3 hours of continuing education

Learning Objectives

In this 3 unit course clinicians will:

1. Understand the concept and components of the home drug testing System;
. Better understand the use and effects of different substances of abuse;
3. Be able to better interpret the significance of positive and negative laboratory results;
4. Understand how to evaluate and identify risk factors associated with a substance abuser and their environment;
5. The importance of, and how to use, specimen collection as a deterrent; and
6. How to use the System as a reference and consultation resource in your practice.


is approved by the:
maintains responsibility for the program.



To receive credit students must

  • Pass the post-test
  • Upon passing the test, print your own certificate of completion

how it works

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If you ordered an online course, you can begin to take the course immediately.

You will receive instructions, via e-mail, on how to take your test online.

Contact us or call if you need technical support.

Your test will be graded online, so the moment you have passed, you may print out your certificate of completion.

That's it! You are done!



This course is designed to educate and serve as a practical resource guide for practicing psychologists, nurses, social workers, counselors and other health professionals who encounter substance abuse patients and problems in their practice.
This course is oriented around the concept of a home drug testing system (the “System”). It is quite different from traditional drug testing and drug free workplace testing. One of the most important distinctions is that it is more appropriately defined as a coordinated “System” of services, rather than just drug testing with the latter representing one of a basic menu of services (i.e., education, training, risk evaluation, incentives, online results retrieval and online audio/visual (A/V) “real time” conferencing.
Other basic differences are:
1. It encourages voluntary participation;
2. It emphasizes therapeutic objective (i.e., the purpose being to prevent drug abuse, not establish a legal basis for punishment);
3. The identity of the person tested is anonymous – names are never used.
The children’s prevention program is especially innovative in providing anti-substance abuse services for ages 5-10. It is a unique primary prevention program that should be very helpful to child health care specialists.
The course is designed to give mental health and health professionals a basic education on substance abuse and provide:
1. A basic education on substances of abuse, their use, and effect;
2. A different perspective on how to manage substance abusers;
3. A different set of options and strategies for evaluating, deterring and early detection of substance abuse;
4. An option for getting the substance abuser’s family and concerned others involved in the education, prevention and treatment of substance abuse without their feeling, or being perceived, as adversaries;
5. Confidence in a resource that they can use and refer to their patients and other health professionals;
6. Access to services that can be integrated into their practice and used to address the substance abuse problem at work, at school, and within the privacy of the home.
It is hoped that after completing the course, you will defer to the System as your substance abuse specialist.


Each day that I read about the violence and crime taking place throughout the country, I think that it is a difficult time to be a child. However, only moments pass and I realize that it is also a difficult time to be a parent. Note the emphasis on parent as opposed to being a mother or father. The former represents care, concern and involvement, teaching proper values and responsibility. The later signifies only a biological relationship. There are many pressures that we must endure in fulfilling our role as parents and providing the basic needs of the family and home. Indeed, there are many elements that com-pete with the proper development of our children.
Quite often there is but one parent, usually the mother; or, if there are two, they both have to work, and they come home so late that it is difficult to get involved with the children's schoolwork. There is often marital conflict, a deficient educational System, negative peer pressure, and other factors competing with what we might consider the proper development of our children. However, as parents, we are still obligated and responsible to do the best we can to provide for and protect our children, our families, and our homes from the things that are harmful, including the use of drugs. How we best protect those we love will differ between individual homes and within the context of a particular culture and community.
Parents are the best individuals to prevent, diagnose, and treat drug abuse. You know your children and loved ones better than do teachers, doctors, psychologists, police, correction officers and other addicts. The maximum input from a responsible home is necessary and critical to the effectiveness and duration of any other treatment that might be proposed. In almost all instances, a person's involvement with drugs starts at home and, when she has completed whatever treatment program proposed, she will return home. If the home environment is negative, or there is no authority at home, then there is nothing to stop her from becoming involved in, or returning to drugs.
To deter drug use, a home drug treatment program should be established. The extent and form that the home drug testing and treatment program assumes will differ from home to home. However, in addition to a demonstration of love, care and concern for the child, there should be discipline and structure to instill accountability to the parents and the family. There should be a sense of responsibility for doing what is required as a member of the household, the family and the community.
Children need to be educated about drugs. Therefore parents need to be educated and will need to have access to information. The information may come from folklore, stories, a religious reference to the Bible, the Koran, or it may come from the Wall Street Journal or the American Journal of Drug Addiction. What matters most is that parents recognize the importance of their role in preventing drug abuse and that you express your concern by becoming informed, educated and knowledgeable about drug abuse. You should, through some format, enhance self-esteem, pride, mutual respect and inspiration to your children and your loved ones.
My System helps provide support and services to families to assist them in establishing a home-based drug abuse program. One of the first ways in which parents are assisted in starting their home-based program is through the Personal Pledge.

Dr. J. Theodore Brown, Jr., is a Ph.D. in experimental clinical psychology. He received his Ph.D. from the State University of New York, Stony Brook in 1976. He is certified with the American Association of State Psychology Boards to practice in Washington D.C., New Jersey, Illinois, Indiana and South Carolina. Dr. Brown brings extensive mental health, substance abuse prevention, and treatment related experiences, as well as teaching experience from his years with such institutions as the Georgetown and Howard University Schools of Medicine, the District of Columbia’s General Hospital and the United States Navy’s Regional Medical Center in Okinawa, Japan. In addition, he has many years of clinical, teaching, research, and consultation experience in the field of substance abuse and prevention. Dr. Brown has served as an expert witness on de-institutionalization of the mentally ill and on PCP intoxication to the United States Congress. He was the founder and creator of the first acute PCP Treatment Unit in the United States. He has served as a special consultant for the Department of State, and represented the United States overseas as an expert on mental health and substance abuse. He has been a special consultant on substance abuse to the Mayo Clinic, and has written numerous articles and books on substance abuse. Dr. Brown has served as a special expert on research and design projects for the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Additionally, he has appeared on many national and international talk shows, both on radio and television.
Prior to founding Virtual Health Systems, Dr. Brown was the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Personal Health & Hygiene, Inc. The major specialization of the company was program design, development and management of health care services. The company created, manufactured and marketed the first home drug testing system to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be sold over the counter (OTC), Dr. Brown’s Home Drug Testing System (the “System”). He is currently President and Chief Executive Officer of Virtual Health Systems, which specializes in technology enhanced health services including substance abuse and mental health products and services.

Visit Dr. Brown's website at

Visit Virtual Health at


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This course counts as a 'regular' (not self-study) course by the CA BBS!

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