Online ExpertTrack in Healthcare & Medicine

Addiction Medicine: An Introduction

An introduction to the science, neurobiology, and stigma surrounding addiction.

Created by

American Society of Addiction MedicineAmerican Society of Addiction Medicine

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Overcome the treatment barriers for patients with a substance use disorder

Addiction is a disease that continues to cost the global community a staggering amount, both financially and in lives lost.

Despite these consequences, patients with substance use disorders (SUD) often do not receive the treatment they need. Treatment barriers include stigma around substance use, inadequate medical training, skepticism about medications and treatment, and lack of clinician confidence in treating patients with addiction.

On this ExpertTrack, you’ll learn evidence-based treatments to help you overcome these barriers and provide better care for your patients.

You’ll gain a comprehensive understanding of providing patient-centred treatment which has been shown to increase survival and recovery of patients with addiction.

Gain knowledge and skills for treating SUDs through chronic care management

Through an interactive, application-focused approach, you will build a foundation for understanding and practicing the treatment of SUDs through a chronic care management model.

You’ll gain the knowledge and skills to treat addiction as a chronic disease, helping you improve your quality of care.

Explore the neurobiology of a substance use disorder

You’ll explore the biological, psychological, and social factors that interact to produce a risk of addiction.

You will examine the neurobiology of SUDs and learn how the brain of a person with an addiction is different, and what that means for how we prevent and treat this disease.

Understand the impacts of stigma on addiction treatment

Stigma is a significant barrier to addiction treatment. SUD stigma, which is often internalised as shame by patients, can prevent them from seeking help or adhering to treatment regimens.

On this ExpertTrack, you will explore the stigma surrounding addiction and examine how attitudes, beliefs, and stigma regarding SUD patients impact therapeutic response, treatment effectiveness, and outcomes.

You will also discover how stigmatising language negatively influences healthcare providers’ perceptions and what you can do to eliminate this.

Learn from the experts at The American Society of Addiction Medicine

You’ll be guided by the specialists at The American Society of Addiction Medicine, a national medical speciality society committed to increasing access to and improving the quality of addiction treatment.

Key skills you will learn

  • A Survey of Substance Use Disorder
  • The Neurobiology of Addiction
  • Impact of Stigma on Treatment of Substance Use Disorders

Learning outcomes

By the end of the ExpertTrack, you’ll be able to...

  • Apply neurobiological concepts to treat patients who suffer from substance use disorders.
  • Identify intoxication and withdrawal syndromes of alcohol, opioids, and stimulants.
  • Explore psychosocial and pharmacological interventions in the treatment of addiction.
  • Explain basic ethical principles such as autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and justice.
  • Describe ethical issues that arise when there are conflicts relating to both public safety and individual health.
  • Discuss factors in managing complex patients with substance use involving co-morbid medical or psychiatric disorders in a variety of settings by utilizing ethical principles.
  • Identify factors that contribute to errors in clinical practice.
  • Apply prevention strategies to reduce common patient safety errors in addiction medicine practice.
  • Demonstrate the appropriate response when patient safety errors occur during the delivery of care to addiction patients.

Experience required

This ExpertTrack provides an introduction into the science of addiction, explores the neurobiology of a substance use disorder, and examines the stigma surrounding addiction.

Getting started

This ExpertTrack is designed for providers, patients, and their families interested in building foundational knowledge surrounding addiction medicine.

ExpertTrack course overview

  • Course 1

    Learn evidence-based treatment techniques to help improve addiction medicine and the quality of care for patients.

    2 weeks

    4 hours per week

    • Week 1

      An Introduction to the Field of Addiction Medicine
      • Course Introduction
      • Introduction to Addictive Disorders
      • Addiction 60/60: All of Addiction Medicine in 60 Slides and 60 Minutes - Fundamentals
      • Key Takeaways
    • Week 2

      Patient Safety and Ethical Dilemmas in Addiction Medicine
      • Week Introduction
      • Ethical Dilemmas in Addiction Medicine Practice
      • Patient Safety in the Context of Addiction Medicine
      • Key Takeaways
  • Course 2

    Learn how to better help your patients with a substance use disorder by understanding how addiction affects the brain.

    2 weeks

    4 hours per week

    • Week 1

      The Neuroscience of Addiction
      • Course Introduction
      • The Pleasure Pathway
      • Positive and Negative Reinforcement
      • Impaired Executive Function in Addiction
      • Brain Adaptation: Tolerance and Withdrawal
      • Key Takeaways
    • Week 2

      Environmental Factors in Addiction and Social Supports in Recovery
      • Week Introduction
      • Adverse Childhood Events (ACEs)
      • Social and Environmental Factors in Addiction: What Animal Studies Reveal
      • Environmental Cues as Risk Factors
      • Return to Use and Recovery
      • Key Takeaways
  • Course 3

    Explore how to reduce stigma, a significant barrier to treating patients with addiction, to improve your quality of care.

    2 weeks

    4 hours per week

    • Week 1

      Understanding the Impact of Stigma
      • Course Introduction
      • Initial Reactions to Stigma
      • Understanding Impact of Stigma on Treatment of SUD
      • Types of Stigma
      • Case Spotlight
      • Key Takeaways
    • Week 2

      How to Eliminate Stigmatizing Language
      • Week Introduction
      • Stigma as Social Death
      • Eliminating Stigmatizing Language
      • Key Takeaways

Prove you're job ready

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Pay a monthly subscription fee of $39 for as long as it takes you to complete the ExpertTrack. You can learn at your own pace and cancel at any time.

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World-class learning with American Society of Addiction Medicine

The American Society of Addiction Medicine is a professional medical society representing over 7,000 physicians, clinicians, and associated professionals in the field of addiction medicine.

Meet your instructors

Director of Behavioral Sciences in Family Medicine
Integrated Behavioral Health Specialist
Researcher, Clinician, and Educator in Addiction and Behavioral Integration

Dr. Cara Anne Poland, MD, MEd, FACP, DFASAM
Nationally recognized expert in addiction medicine who's passionate about improving the care of patients with SUD's, particularly those who are pregnant.

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