Fundamentals of Addiction Medicine

Fundamentals of Addiction Medicine


The ASAM Fundamentals of Addiction Medicine page is designed to provide support to primary care physicians and clinicians in their clinical treatment of patients at risk for or with substance use disorders (SUDs). ASAM has produced three separate educational offerings (listed below) centered around this topic. Click the offerings below to learn more about how to enhance your skills and practice in the area of addiction medicine.



A page for those interested in participating in the ASAM Fundamentals 40-Hour Program for providers new to the field of addiction medicine, such as primary care physicians, clinicians and general psychiatrists,


A collection of links to resources and tools related to various topics of addiction medicine and working with patients at risk for or with substance use disorders (SUD). 


Definition of Addiction Medicine (Short Version):

Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors. Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one's behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and adysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death.

Click here to view ASAM's Full Definition of Addiction