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.

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.

Accredited Continuing Education

As an approved Law Enforcement Training Board training provider (#47-1333720), Overdose Lifeline online training courses meet annual in-service training requirements for Indiana Law Enforcement officers and support personal, specifically for Mental Illness, Addiction & Disabilities IC 5-2-1-9(g)

For first responders in other states, before beginning any of the Overdose Lifeline online courses we recommend that you verify that the course is of suitable subject matter and content for annual in-service training with your Department’s Certified Instructor. 

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. You should select "First Responder".

Upon successful completion of the course you will be issued a certificate which includes the information required to submit to Indiana Law Enforcement Training Board. The specific information required includes:

Overdose Lifeline’s Provider Number: #47-1333720. 

Countinuing Education / Training Hours: 1.5

Course Number: FR-ATR-SUD15

Please follow the Indiana Law Enforcement Training Board procedure below to ensure your training is properly reported, 

  1. Register for the classes at the provider’s website.
  2. Complete the class and all the requirements with a passing score.
  3. Print the certificate of completion or other documentation that indicates your successful completion of the class.
  4. Report the training by submitting a copy of the certificate and provide the LETB Certified Training Provider number to your department Training Coordinator.
  5. The Training Coordinator will report the training through Acadis as part of your annual in-service training using the LETB Certified Training Provider number for the organization that presented the online training. 


For first responders in other states, before beginning any of the Overdose Lifeline online courses we recommend that you verify that the course is of suitable subject matter and content for annual in-service training with your Department’s Certified Instructor. 

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.