Course Description

Exploring the Role of ACEs and Trauma in Substance Use Disorder (SUD)

The purpose of this course it to convey a working understanding of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs), trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and how these are both relate to general health outcomes, but particularly Substance Use Disorder.

ACEs and trauma play a large role in substance use disorder. Viewing individuals within the context of their life experiences provides an important lens for recovery. Trauma informed care and resilience building are key components to recovery that emphasize prevention and rehabilitation.

This course is for individuals, health care professionals, and groups and organization who are working to prevent and reduce the effects of substance use disorder / the opioid public health crisis.

Course Author

The course was authored by Justin Phillips, Masters Clinical Addictions Counseling, Executive Director and Founder Overdose Lifeline, Inc. an Indiana based non- profit dedicated to reducing the stigma of substance use disorder and preventing deaths resulting from opioid overdose. Overdose Lifeline serves as a statewide nonprofit addressing the opioid public health crisis since 2014 through subject matter expertise, education, advocacy and support for affected families. Justin spent most of her career in public health and the prevention of unintentional injury and death to children. She received a degree in philanthropic studies and nonprofit management in 2011.

Course Subject Matter Expert

Denise A. Senter, MFT, LMHC, Director of Mental Health and Clinical Services, Reach for Youth. Reach For Youth ( is a source of hope for youth, their families and the community in time of need.

Faculty, Staff and Reviewer Disclosure Statement

All faculty, staff and reviewers involved in the planning, review or presentation of continuing education activities provided by Purdue University College of Pharmacy are required to disclose to the audience any relevant commercial financial affiliations related to the content of the presentation or enduring material. All planning committee members, writers, staff and reviewers of Overdose Lifeline and Purdue University have no relationships to disclose.

What You Will Learn

  • Gain the ability to describe an Adverse Childhood Experience (ACE) and the study of ACEs. 

  • Explain the connection between trauma, ACEs, and existing social conditions. 

  • Recognize experiences that are classified as adverse childhood experiences ACEs and general trauma. 

  • Identify the relationship between trauma, ACEs, PTSD, and general health outcomes, particularly in relation to substance use disorder (SUD).

  • Recognize the practices or next steps helpful for individuals dealing with ACEs, SUD, or general trauma including a trauma informed care approach and building resilience.

Course CE Credits and Certificate Program

In partnership with Purdue University College of Pharmacy, Office of Continuing Education, and funding from the Employers Forum of Indiana and the Amerisource Bergen Foundation, Overdose Lifeline has developed layperson and clinician CE courses and Certificate Program on Addiction / Substance Use Disorder with an Opioid Specialization.

The course and the certificate program are structured to support the educational needs of healthcare professionals, students, and the layperson. An individual may pursue individual course CE credits or complete the entire Certificate Program (20 credits).

CE Accreditation Statement:

Purdue University College of Pharmacy designates this enduring activity for a maximum of 2.0 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Laypersons and all other healthcare providers will receive a Certificate of Participation with appropriate AMA credit designation.

AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ (ACCME) is accepted for many clinical continuing education requirements and many societies and credentialing bodies accept the AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™ as an equivalent as long as the topic is relevant to the applicant’s field or discipline.

Release Date:  10/15/2020

Expiration Date: 12/06/2023 

CE Credit Course Requirements

  • 100% course completion

  • 80% (minimum) passing grade on the final exam

  • Complete the course ending survey

How to Receive CE Credit(s)

During course registration you will be prompted to select your CE Credit area. If you are not pursuing nursing, physician, or pharmarcy CE credits, then you should select "All Others: AMA PRA Category 1™ (ACCME)" which will service all other CE Credit types.

Your Certificate of CE credit(s) will be referenced on-screen at the end of the course and your certificate credentials will be delivered to the email address associated with this course's registration.

If you need assistance or have any questions, please contact [email protected].

Additional Course Notes

  • There are no prerequisites for this course. We recommend you consider: “The Brain and the Disease of Addiction ($30.00) and the Guide to Substance Use Disorder Treatment and Recovery ($45.00) online courses.

  • This course provides 1.5 CE Credits - delivered upon 100% course completion, achievement of 80% (minimum) passing grade on the final exam, and completing the course ending survey.

  • The course may be accessed from a computer, tablet or mobile device. Internet access is required as are speakers for audio.

  • The course will remain available in your account for six months - allowing you to complete the course at your own pace and return to the course later for review of key concepts.