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Addiction in Your Practice: Information and Resources for Dealing with Addictive Behavior

Course Description | Faculty | Accreditation | General Information

Course Description

This activity meets the criteria of the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine for 3 credits of Risk Management Study. This includes 3 Credits of Opioid Education and Pain Management Training.

Please check your individual state licensing board requirements before claiming these credits.

Learners may also claim the following types of credit for completing this module:

American Psychological Association (APA) / Psychologists
National Association of Alcoholism and Drug Abuse Counselors (NAADAC) / Counselors
National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) / Counselors

To claim these credits, email your CME certificate to Vanessa Graham at vgraham@challiance.org.

Accreditation Statements:

APA - The Division on Addiction is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Division on Addiction maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

The Division on Addiction is nationally approved by NAADAC, the Association for Addiction Professionals Approved Education Provider (Provider number 396)


NBCC - The Division on Addiction has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6121. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. The Division on Addiction is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs. This program is eligible for a maximum of 3 clock hours.

Psychiatric comorbidity, such as addictive behavior, is common in a variety of treatment settings, and has far-reaching consequences. Complications from addictive behavior can impede treatment progress, lead to additional problems, and increase the chance of treatment failure. Consequently, there recently has been increased demand on medical care workers who do not specialize in addiction (e.g., nurse practitioners, general practitioners, obstetricians, trauma specialists, etc.) to assess, intervene, and provide referrals for their patients who demonstrate addictive behavior. However, research suggests that many medical care providers lack addiction-related training and resources. The goals of this online course are to improve participantsí understanding of addiction and its influence on medical care. We will discuss the theoretical and clinical aspects of addictive behavior, as well as strategies for dealing with patients who demonstrate addictive behavior.

Original Release: 5/1/2008
Most Recent Update: 11/20/2014
Termination Date: 11/20/2017

NUMBER OF CREDIT HOURS: The Harvard Medical School designates this enduring material for a maximum of 3 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

This course should take approximately 3 hours to complete.

COST: COST: $75.00


  1. Explain clinical and dynamic formulations
  2. Define addiction and dependence and describe how the two terms are not synonymous
  3. List signs of opioid withdrawal
  4. List examples of shared and unique manifestations of alcohol use disorder, other substance use disorders, and gambling disorder
  5. Provide examples of countertransference in the context of treatment for substance use disorders
  6. Explain the 3 Cís of addiction
  7. Describe signs and symptoms that must be considered when developing patient placement plans
  8. Use strategies for managing pain and opioid dependence
  9. Identify potential predictors of addiction
  10. Explain ambivalence and its relationship with continued addictive behavior
  11. Provide information related to evidence-based treatment and referral options.
  12. Provide information related to prototypical recovery and relapse.
  13. Provide information related to facilitating clinical discourse about addictive behavior


Registrants participate in the learning process by answering interactive multiple choice questions that are dispersed throughout the case presentation. You must answer a question correctly in order to continue through the course. If you answer a question incorrectly, you will be prompted to try again.

In order to earn credit, physicians must complete the entire educational activity before the termination date (see above). Non-physicians may register for the course but are not eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Instead, non-physicians will earn a certificate of participation after successfully completing the course before its termination date.


This internet enduring material is a case-based, interactive presentation comprised mainly of text, interactive questions, and images. A variety of media, including video clips, audio clips, and Flash animation, may be presented. Links to any necessary plugins are provided when necessary, but no plugins are required for general use of the CME website, and you may skip the multimedia presentation(s) within the course if you choose.

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Course Co-Director
Debi LaPlante, Ph.D., is Associate Director of the Cambridge Health Alliance, Division on Addictions and an Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School. She graduated from the College of the Holy Cross with a degree in psychology and completed her graduate education in social psychology at Harvard University. At the Division on Addictions, Dr. LaPlante is involved in research, teaching, and public outreach. Her research interests include, but are not limited to: (1) psychiatric comorbidity profiles and addictive behavior, such as DUI; (2) public health in expanding gaming markets; and (3) addiction in special populations, such as women and minorities. Currently, Dr. LaPlante is an editor for the online research review, the Brief Addiction Science Information Source (The BASIS), which publishes weekly science reviews on the latest research studies of gambling, alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. Dr. LaPlante is a course director for the annual Addiction Medicine CME live activity and two online CME courses, Gambling in Your Practice and Addiction in Your Practice. Through her work, her goal is to further the mission of the Division on Addictions by strengthening worldwide understanding of addiction through innovative research, education, and the global exchange of information.

Reported no relevant financial relationships with commercial entities.

Course Co-Director
Currently, Dr. Shaffer is the Morris E. Chafetz Associate Professor of Psychiatry in the Field of the Behavioral Sciences at Harvard Medical School; in addition, he is the Director of the Division on Addiction at the Cambridge Health Alliance, a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. He has served as principal or co-principal investigator on a variety of government, state, non-profit/foundation, and corporate sponsored research projects. His work focuses on the clinical, research and educational activities associated with the Division. These topics include Internet gambling, identifying risks and interventions for gambling disorder, and psychiatric co-morbidity among multiple DUI offenders. Dr. Shaffer is the past editor of the Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, the past editor of The Journal of Gambling Studies, and the past associate editor of The Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. Dr. Shaffer also is a member of numerous editorial boards. His newest books include the APA Addiction Syndrome Handbook (2012) and Change Your Gambling, Change Your Life (2012). Dr. Shaffer's major research interests include, the social perception of addiction and disease, the philosophy of science, impulse control regulation, excessive and compulsive behaviors, addiction treatment outcomes, psychiatric comorbidity, homelessness and addiction, and the natural history of addictive behaviors. In addition to active clinical practice, Dr. Shaffer has written extensively about the treatment of addictive behaviors and the nature of addiction, including more than 250 chapters, journal articles, and reviews. He also has published more than 120 newspaper articles, and 22 books or monographs. His research, writing, and teaching have shaped how the health care field conceptualizes and treats the full range of addictive behaviors.

Company: Pioneer Behavioral Health
Type of Relationship: Own stock

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Dr. Albanese was born in Boston, and graduated from Boston Latin School. He attended Harvard College and Cornell University Medical College. He did his internship in medicine at Brigham and Womenís Hospital, and his psychiatry residency at Massachusetts Mental Health Center. He is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in general psychiatry and addiction psychiatry. Dr. Albanese completed a medicine internship at Brigham and Womenís Hospital and psychiatry residency at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center. He is board-certified in both general psychiatry and addiction psychiatry. He is the Director of Adult Outpatient Psychiatry and Addictions at Cambridge Health Alliance. He is also one of the course directors for the annual HMS Treating the Addictions CME course.

Company: Reckitt Benckiser; Forest Type of Relationship: Speaker; Speaker Content Area: Addictions; Addictions

Dr. Sanjiv Chopra is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He is also the the James Tullis Firm Chief in the Department of Medicine and a Senior Consultant in Hepatology at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston. He served as Faculty Dean for Continuing Education at HMS for 12 years. Dr. Chopra has more than 150 publications and seven books to his credit. Dr. Chopra is Editor-in-Chief of the Hepatology Section of UpToDate, the most widely used electronic textbook in the world subscribed to by more than 850,000 physicians in 149 countries. He is also the recipient of numerous awards and accolades. For a complete bio, click here.

Reported no relevant financial relationships with commercial entities

Janice F. Kauffman R.N., M.P.H., L.A.D.C.1, C.A.S. is The Director of the Addiction Psychiatry Service, Brigham and Women's Hospital, the Vice President of Addiction Treatment Services for North Charles Foundation, Inc., and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, the Cambridge Hospital. She has work with addictive disorders for the past 34 years in direct treatment, program development and management, teaching, and local and national policy initiatives. She is the founder and President of the Massachusetts Methadone Treatment Providers Association, and the Massachusetts delegate to the American Association for the Treatment of Opioid Dependence Board of Directors. She is on the Board of Directors for the Massachusetts Mental Health and Substance Abuse Association in Massachusetts and past Vice President and now Trustee of the Board of Directors for the American Academy of Health Care Providers in the Addictive Disorders. Areas of expertise include opioid dependence, addicted medical professors, dual diagnosis, pain and addiction, and addictions in general hospitals.

Reported no relevant financial relationships with commercial entities

Dr. Renner is Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Boston University School of Medicine, Associate Chief of Psychiatry for the VA Boston Healthcare System, and Chief of their Substance Abuse Treatment Program. He graduated from Yale University and Case University School of Medicine and completed his psychiatric residency at the Tufts-New England Medical Center. In addition to his clinical activities at the VA, he is Associate Director of the Boston University Medical Center General Psychiatry Residency Program and Director of their Addiction Psychiatry Residency. Since 1987, Dr. Renner has been a member of the faculty of the Harvard Medical School Division on Addictions. Dr. Renner has written and lectured extensively on the treatment of alcoholism and drug addiction. He is currently a member of the American Psychiatric Association Council on Addiction Psychiatry and is Chairman of the APA Corresponding Committee on Training and Education in Addiction Psychiatry. He is also a member of the Data Safety Monitoring Board for the Clinical Trials Network of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a member of the Clinical Advisory Committee of the Physician Health Service of the Massachusetts Medical Society, and a Consultant to the Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital.

Johnson & Johnson: stock holder

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Course Planners
Andi Long directs the Department of Continuing Educationís Distance Learning group, which offers a variety of online continuing medical education programs to health care professionals around the world. Andi develops strategies for new pilot programs and systematically rolls out new distance learning initiatives and has a leadership role in IT planning and other online processes for HMS DCE. She oversees the day-to-day operations of each distance learning activity and ensures ACCME compliance across all enduring programs. She has had the privilege of working with hundreds of Harvard Medical School Faculty members to develop high-quality, engaging online programs that physicians in more than 170 countries have taken part in. Andi earned her Ed.M. in Technology, Innovation, and Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education and graduated from Bridgewater State College with a degree in English. Her professional interests focus on teaching and learning with new technologies and online course development.

Reported no relevant financial relationships with commercial entities.

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The Harvard Medical School is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The Harvard Medical School designates this enduring material for a maximum of 3 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

This course should take approximately 3 hours to complete.

Within 2 weeks of completing the course, you will receive your certificate via email.

Click the image to view a sample of the certificate

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General Information


Any computer running Windows, Mac OS, or Unix machines are supported.

Internet Connection
Your computer should be configured to access the Internet. A high speed internet connection may be required to view some of the large multimedia files.

Firefox or Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher are recommended. JavaScript and cookies must be enabled.

Some of the multimedia resources in this course require Apple Quicktime, RealMedia, or a Flash player. You will be prompted to download the appropriate plugin when necessary. No plugins are required for general use of the CME website, and you may skip the multimedia presentation(s) within the course if you choose.


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