Course Description

In this course, you will learn about the disease of addiction by looking at how the brain is affected from substances such as drugs and alcohol and how the disease of addiction develops.

This course is for individuals, parents, students, healthcare professionals and groups and organizations who are will benefit from an understanding and knowledge of the science of the disease of addiction.

Course Reviewer

The course material has been reviewed by subject matter expert: Rob Atchison, Ph.D., LMFT, NCC, AAMFT Approved Supervisor, Assistant Professor of Graduate Counseling, Director of Clinical Training, INDIANA WESLEYAN UNIVERSITY, Indianapolis, IN.

What You Will Learn

  • You will acquire a foundational understanding of how the brain is affected from substances such as drugs and alcohol.

  • How the disease of addiction develops.

  • An understanding of brain neuroplasticity and how through treatment and recovery the brain can change/reset.

What People Are Saying

The Brain and the Disease of Addiction Course


"This course allowed me to truly understand the science behind the disease, which allowed me to really grasp addiction in terms of a disease rather than a moral failing."

"I developed a better understanding of how illicit drugs affect the brain and why it is so difficult to actually recover."

"I have developed a basic understanding of addiction and will be able to articulate this information to classes of middle school students and college students, in the near future. I also have a greater understanding of terminology used to describe patterns of addition."

"I particularly found the discussion surrounding brain chemistry and the evidence-based science behind addiction very helpful and beneficial. "

"I never really understood the science behind addiction, but now I feel that I have more understanding and compassion for those who struggle with the disease of addiction. It was also beneficial to learn how drugs effect the brain , how the brain reacts to drugs and its release of dopamine."

Course curriculum

  • 01
    A Review of the Course Dashboard
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    • A Review of Your Course Dashboard
  • 02
    Introduction
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  • 03
    Addiction / Substance Use Disorder Historical View
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    • A Historical View of Addiction / Substance Use Disorder
  • 04
    Definition: Addiction / Substance Use Disorder
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  • 05
    Check My Knowledge 1
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    • Check My Knowledge - History and Definition of Addiction / Substance Use Disorder
  • 06
    Addiction Cause and Risk Factors
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    • Addiction Cause and Risk Factors
  • 07
    Check My Knowledge 2
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    • Check My Knowledge 2 - Cause and Risk Factors of Addiction
  • 08
    Substance's Effects on the Brain
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    • Substance's Effects on the Brain
  • 09
    Check My Knowledge 3
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    • Check My Knowledge 3 - Substance's Effects on the Brain
  • 10
    Withdrawal
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    • Withdrawal
  • 11
    Relapse
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    • Relapse - What does it mean?
  • 12
    Check My Knowledge 4
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    • Check My Knowledge 4 - Withdrawal and Relapse
  • 13
    Neuroplasticity of the Brain
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    • Neuroplasticity of the Brain
  • 14
    Drug Classification
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    • A Review of Drug Classifications
  • 15
    Check My Knowledge 5
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    • Check My Knowledge 5 - Neuroplasticity and Drug Classifications
  • 16
    Course End Note
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    • Final End Note
  • 17
    Activity
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    • The Anatomy of Addiction: How Heroin and Opioids Hijack the Brain
    • What did you find the most interesting aspect of the NPR story "The Anatomy of Addiction: How Heroin and Opioids Hijack the Brain"?
  • 18
    Course End Survey
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    • Course End Survey Instructions
    • Course End Survey
  • 19
    Resources and Helpful Links
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    • The Brain and the Disease of Addiction - Resource and Helpful Links
  • 20
    Course Credits
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    • Course Voice Talent
  • 21
    Final Exam
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    • About the Final Exam
    • The Brian and the Disease of Addiction Final Exam

Additional Course Notes

  • There are no pre-requisites for this course. We recommend you consider “The Opioid Public Health Crisis" online course ($35.00). This provides a foundational knowledge on this nationwide health crisis and the solutions and actions to take to reduce the epidemic’s effect.

  • This course includes a "Certificate of Completion" delivered upon achievement of 80% passing grade on the final exam. Certificates expire in 2 years.

  • 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 resume the course at your own pace and schedule.

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