Science of Addiction (Updated)

$10.00 | CE Hours:2.00 | Intermediate

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CE Course Description

As a result of scientific research, we know that addiction is a medical disorder that affects the brain and changes behavior.  This CE course provides scientific information about the disorder of drug addiction, including the many harmful consequences of drug use and the basic approaches that have been developed to prevent and treat substance use disorders.

Author:  Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction.  (2018, July).  NIH Publication No. 18-DA-5605.  National Institute on Drug Abuse; National Institutes of Health; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Retrieved from:

CE Course Objectives

1.  Contrast the feelings that someone has after taking stimulants compared to those after taking opioids.

2.  Name the hallmark of addiction.

3.  Identify two methods of drug use that increase a drug’s addictive potential.

4.  Describe three areas of the brain involved in drug addiction and explain their roles.


CE Outline with Main Points

1.  Drug Misuse and Addiction

a.  What is Drug Addiction?

b.  Why do People Take Drugs?

c.  If Taking Drugs Makes People Feel Good or Better, What's the Problem?

d.  Do People Freely Choose to Keep Using Drugs?

e.  Why Do Some People Become Addicted to Drugs, While Other Do Not?

f.  What Factors Increase the Risk of Addiction?

g.  Changes in the Brain During Adolescence

2.  Preventing Drug Misuse and Addiction: The Best Strategy

a.  Why is Adolescence a Critical Time for Preventing Drug Addiction?

b.  Can Research-Based Programs Prevent Drug Addiction in Youth?

c.  Young Brains Under Study

3.  Drugs and the Brain

a.  How Does the Brain Work?

b.  How Do Drugs Work in the Brain?

c.  What Parts of the Brain are Affected by Drug Use?

d.  How Do Drugs Produce Pleasure?

e.  How Does Dopamine Reinforce Drug Use?

f.  Why Are Drugs More Addictive Than Natural Rewards?

4.  Addiction and Health

a.  What are the Other Health Consequences of Drug Addiction?

b.  Does Drug Use Cause Mental Disorders or Vice Versa?

c.  How Can Addiction Harm Other People

5.  Treatment Recovery

a.  Can Addiction be Treated Successfully?

b.  Can Addiction be Cured?

c.  Does Replapse to Drug Use Mean Treatment Has Failed?

d.  What are the Principles of Effective Treatment?

e.  What Medications and Devices Help Treat Drug Addiction?

f.  How Do Behavioral Therapies Treat Drug Addiction?

g.  How Do Quality Treatment Programs Help Patients Recover From Addiction?

6.  Advancing Addiction Science and Practical Solutions

a.  Leading the Search for Scientific Solutions

b.  Bringing Science to Real World Settings



Social Work Approval

Social Work CE Credit for this course is offered with the following approvals. Many state boards of social work will accept the approvals listed. Provider Approvals by state and license type can be found here.

  • Quantum Units Education is approved by the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, CAMFT Provider #89970, to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and/or LEP. Quantum Units Education maintains responsibility for this program/course and its content.
  • Florida board for Social Workers CE Provider #50-8650 (Quantum 'immediately' reports CE Credits to Florida licensees) 
  • Illinois Department of Professional Regulation, License No. 159.001261 approved CE Sponsor
  • Ohio CSWMFTB #RCST091701 approved CE Provider
  • Texas Board of SWE #5070 approved CE Provider
  • ACE credit is offered for this course for social workers (followed by ACE approval statement that is currently on every ACE course page) Quantum Units Education, #1289, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. Quantum Units Education maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 01/03/2020 – 01/03/2023.

To see other approvals in your state, see our state by state provider approval listings here.


CAADE Approval

This course is CAADE approved.


Course Development: Each course is identified and reviewed by the appropriate Quantum Units Education consultant with professional and licensed expertise in the various disciplines we serve. Our professional consultants oversee course development to satisfy the needs of various professionals based on their board requirements, rate course degrees of difficulty and ensure the course content and exam questions are appropriate, relevant and comprehensive. See our professional staff and their bios here.

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Added On: 2018-11-05

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