• American Society of Addiction Medicine logo

A Survey of Substance Use Disorder

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

A doctor consultant her patient as they sit together talking at a desk.
  • Duration

    2 weeks
  • Weekly study

    4 hours
  • 100% online

    How it works
  • Included in an ExpertTrack

    Course 1 of 3
  • Get full ExpertTrack access

    $39/monthFind out more

Explore the basics of addiction medicine

Addiction has a staggering impact on society. Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States and The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that overdose deaths have accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What’s more, the total cost of addiction to society, accounting for crime, healthcare, and lost productivity, is estimated at upwards of $740 billion annually.

On this two-week course, you’ll explore the basics of addiction medicine to understand the best course of treatments to help patients with addiction.

You’ll study neurobiology, commonly used substances, behavioural addiction epidemiology, SBIRT (Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment), and psychosocial treatments to gain a comprehensive understanding of addiction and its treatments.

Gain an introduction to neurobiology

You’ll explore neurobiology in patients with substance use disorders to understand how addiction affects the brain.

You’ll also examine intoxication and withdrawal syndromes associated with alcohol, opioids, and stimulants to help you provide better care for your patients who may experience these symptoms.

Learn from the experts at The American Society of Addiction Medicine

On the course, you’ll learn to identify psychosocial and pharmacological interventions, such as behavioural therapy and medication. You’ll also discover the best practices on when to use these interventions in the treatment of substance use disorders.

Learning from the experts at The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM), a national medical specialty society of over 7,000 physicians and associated professionals, this course will equip you with the knowledge to help improve your quality of addiction treatment with your patients.


  • Week 1

    An Introduction to the Field of Addiction Medicine

    • Course Introduction

      You will begin by reviewing course expectations and the intended learning path for the course.

    • Introduction to Addictive Disorders

      In this section, you will learn about addiction utilizing the chronic care framework of addiction treatment.

    • Addiction 60/60: All of Addiction Medicine in 60 Slides and 60 Minutes - Fundamentals

      In this section, you will explore the basics of addiction medicine to gain a comprehensive understanding of addiction and its treatments.

    • Key Takeaways

      In this section, we will summarize the key takeaways for this week.

  • Week 2

    Patient Safety and Ethical Dilemmas in Addiction Medicine

    • Week Introduction

      This week, you will explore ethical dilemmas and patient safety related concepts in addiction medicine.

    • Ethical Dilemmas in Addiction Medicine Practice

      This section will provide an overview of ethical principles and how to apply them to complex clinical situations.

    • Patient Safety in the Context of Addiction Medicine

      In this section, you will explore strategies to promote patient safety in addiction medicine using safety practices and systems-thinking approaches.

    • Key Takeaways

      In this section, we will summarize the key takeaways for this week.

Prove you're job ready

Highlight the new, job-relevant skills you’ve gained and supplement existing qualifications with a hard-earned, industry-specific digital certificate – plus one for every course within your ExpertTrack.

  • Learn the latest in your chosen industry or subject.
  • Complete each course and pass assessments.
  • Receive certificates validated by the educating organisation.
  • Impress employers with learning outcomes you can add to your CV.
  • Make your career dreams a reality.

Download a PDF

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, 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.
  • 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.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for providers who are new to the field of addiction medicine.

You may be a primary care physician, clinician, nurse practitioner, physician assistant, or behavioral health specialist who sees patients at risk for or with addiction.

Who will you learn with?

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

Who developed the course?

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.

About this ExpertTrack

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

Start learning today - free 7-day trial

After your free trial you can:

  • Pay $39 per month to keep learning online
  • Have complete control over your subscription; you can cancel any time
  • Work at your own pace and set your own deadlines at every stage
  • Only pay while you’re learning; the subscription will cancel automatically when you finish
  • Complete online assessments to test your knowledge and prove your skills
  • Earn digital course certificates and a final award that you can share online, with potential employers, and your professional network
  • Keep access to the content of courses you complete even after your subscription ends

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn