Neurobiology of Substance Use Disorders


The American Society of Addiction Medicine defines addiction as “a treatable, chronic medical disease involving complex interactions among brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and an individual’s life experiences. People with addiction use substances or engage in behaviors that become compulsive and often continue despite harmful consequences.”  In this presentation we will focus on the brain circuitry part of this definition.  We will explore brain development, the neural changes that occur in response to drug and alcohol use, and how those changes impact a person’s behavior.  As we understand more about the behavioral changes seen in people with substance use disorders we will also discuss ways to use this knowledge to approach engaging people in recovery.

Learning Objectives:

  1. List 3 things that can put a person at risk for developing a substance use disorder.
  2. Explain how dopamine release in response to drug use can lead to more drug use.
  3. Describe 1 behavioral approach and 1 medication approach to treating SUDs based in neuroscience.


Mar 20 2024


9:30 am - 11:30 am

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