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 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.

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

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

  • Describe how the disease of addiction develops.

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

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:  12/06/2019

Expiration Date:  12/06/2021

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 training@overdoselifeline.org.

Additional Course Notes

  • There are no prerequisites for this course. We recommend you consider “The Opioid Public Health Crisis — 3.0 CE Credits" online course ($45.00). 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 provides 2.0 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 following web browsers are supported: Desktop - Firefox, Safari, Chrome, and Edge. Note the course platform does not support Internet Explorer. Mobile - iOS Safari: 11 and up, Chrome, Samsung Internet.

  • 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.

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."