The Fundamentals of Addiction Medicine - A Live Course



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Addiction is a chronic brain disease and there are treatments available to help patients.

The ASAM Fundamentals of Addiction Medicine--A Live Course is a practical, case-based course designed to support physicians and clinicians in their clinical treatment of patients at risk for or with substance use disorders (SUD). The increased interest in expanding the primary care provider’s role in treating addiction has arisen, in part, because of the co-morbidities of medical illnesses among substance abuse patients. However, another facet to expanding the primary care team’s role is the development of new medications and access to those medications and medical care due to Affordable Care Act. With the increase of patient access to medical care, it is fitting that the need for substance abuse detection starts to take place in primary care practice. The ASAM Fundamentals course is the go-to course for the whole primary care team to learn more about how to provide the most effective prevention and treatment of addiction.

Educational Purpose

Primary care physicians and clinicians will effectively treat adult out-patients at risk for or with addictive disorders.

Who Should Attend

Primary care physicians and clinicians, general psychiatrists and other members of the healthcare team interested in learning more about addiction medicine and how to recognize, treat and/or refer patients with substance use disorders.

Course Topics

  • Meeting our Patient: An Introduction to Addictive Disorders Screening
  • A Brain on Drugs: The Clinical Manifestations of the Neurobiology of Addictions Motivational Interviewing
  • Identifying Unhealthy Substance Use: Case Finding Made Easy
  • Should I Open Pandora's Box?: Screening,Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT)
  • When Your Patients Says "Yes, But!": A Taste of Motivational Interviewing
  • Matching the Treatment to the Patient: Developing an Appropriate Treatment Plan
  • For Every ill, There May Be a pill: Treating Substance Use Disorders with Medication and Counseling

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this educational activity, participants should be able to:

  • Identify their feelings and attitudes that promote or prevent therapeutic responses to their patients with substance use disorders.
  • Summarize the three major neurocircuits underlying addictive disorders and their clinical implications.
  • Use and recommend, validated universal screening tools to identify substance use in patients and demonstrate the ability with confidence to score and interpret the results for hazardous and harmful use.
  • Respond to positive substance use screening results with brief counseling strategies, including motivational interviewing, appropriate to the patient’s readiness to change.
  • Evoke “change talk” in patients at risk for or with substance use disorders to empathically motivate behavior change.  
  • Conduct a biopsychosocial and developmental ambulatory assessment of an adult with a SUD to match the patient to an appropriate level of care.
  • List the indications, contraindications and duration of treatment of evidence based pharmacotherapy for alcohol, tobacco, and opioid use disorders and refer to specialty care where appropriate.  
  • Reflect on the role of mutual aid groups such as AA in the recovery process for patients in their practice/ communities.

Continuing Medical Education Credit

The American Society of Addiction Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. 

The American Society of Addiction Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 8 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit (s)™.  â€‹Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Program Planning Committee

Peter L. Selby, MBBS, CCFP, FCFP, DipABAM, FASAM, Chair, Curriculum Director 
Miriam S. Komaromy, MD, FACP, Vice Chair 
Mario San Bartolomé, MD, MBA, Vice Chair 
Catherine R. Friedman, MD 
Peter D. Friedmann, MD, MPH, FASAM, FACP 
Kenneth A. Saffier, MD 
J. Paul Seale, MD
Jeanette M. Tetrault, MD, FACP 
Alexander Y. Walley, MD, MSc 
Stephen A. Wyatt, DO 

Course Staff 

Alli Unger, Manager, Professional Development 
Arlene C. Deverman, CAE, Vice President, Professional Development