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Assessment and Effective Treatment of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Disorders

  • Earn up to 12.50 CME credits

Assessment and Effective Treatment of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Disorders


Quick Facts

In addition to an emphasis on alcohol use disorder — especially the underlying neurobiology and medication intervention — this online CME course explores opioid use disorder, medication treatment options and how best to use them, and at-risk subpopulations. Assessment and Effective Treatment of Alcohol and Substance Abuse Disorders is psychiatry continuing medical education that takes an in-depth look at:

  • Non-medication treatment options, including behavioral strategies and pharmacological interventions
  • The role of psychotherapy, referral to AA, and SMART Recovery
  • Helping family members of patients with substance use disorders
  • Techniques to deal with the unmotivated patient’s denial, ambivalence, and reluctance to change, demonstrating how to motivate, persuade and confront effectively
  • Assessment and treatment of patients with co-occurring disorders such as trauma

Topics / Speakers

All lectures by Mark Albanese, MD


Introduction and Assessment: Focus on Multidimensional Assessment of Patients with Substance Use Disorder

Treatment of Substance Use Disorders: Focus on Medications, Part 1

Treatment of Substance Use Disorders: Medications, Part 2, and Non-Medication Approaches

Co-occurring Disorders: Implications, Assessment, and Treatment

Opioid Use Disorder: Assessment, Treatment, and Special Considerations


Course Director

Lawrence E. Lifson, MD

Dr. Lifson is a Lecturer on Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He is the Director of the Continuing Education Program at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and a faculty member at Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. He is a co-chair for the Continuing Education Program at Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. Dr. Lifson is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, and the 2012 recipient of the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society’s “Outstanding Psychiatrist in Education Award.” He is the 2016 Recipient of Tufts Medical Alumni Association Dean’s Award, and has received the 2019 American Psychoanalytic Association Edith Sabshin Teaching Award. He is editor of Understanding Therapeutic Action: Current Concepts of Cure, The Mental Health Practitioner and the Law, and The Psychology of Investing.



Mark Albanese, MD

Dr. Albanese is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School and Director, Adult Outpatient Psychiatry & Addictions Program, Cambridge Health Alliance. Dr. Albanese has published extensively in the area of alcohol and substance use disorders with particular expertise in the area of substance use disorders and co-occurring disorders.


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

AMA Credit Designation Statement

The Harvard Medical School designates this enduring material for a maximum of 12.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits.™ Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


Date of Original Release: December 31, 2021

Termination Date: January 31, 2024
(Please note that AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ will no longer be issued for the activity after this date)

Estimated Time to Complete the Activity: 12.50 hours


CME credit is awarded upon successful completion of a course evaluation and post-test.


ACGME Competencies

This course is designed to meet one or more of the following Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Competencies:

  • Patient Care and Procedural Skills

Disclosure Policy

Harvard Medical School (HMS) adheres to all ACCME Accreditation Criteria and Policies. It is HMS's policy that those who have influenced the content of a CME activity (e.g. planners, faculty, authors, reviewers and others) disclose all relevant financial relationships with commercial entities so that HMS may identify and resolve any conflicts of interest prior to the activity. These disclosures will be provided in the activity materials along with disclosure of any commercial support received for the activity. Additionally, faculty members have been instructed to disclose any limitations of data and unlabeled or investigational uses of products during their presentations.


Disclosure information for all individuals in control of the content of the activity is located on the disclosure statement in the PDF and printed syllabus.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this activity, participants will be better able to:

  • Evaluate indications for and use of common substance use disorder medications
  • Develop helpful strategies for family members of those with substance use disorders
  • Determine options for abstinence vs. cutting down
  • Distinguish substance-induced disorders vs. independent psychiatric illness
  • Refer patients knowledgeably to mutual-help groups such as AA or SMART Recovery
  • Evaluate key properties of the common drugs of abuse
  • Practice techniques to deal with denial, ambivalence, and reluctance to change
  • Demonstrate how to motivate, persuade and confront effectively
  • Develop helpful strategies for patients who want to cut down but who you think should abstain
  • Analyze models of both psychopharmacological and psychotherapeutic treatments for patients with substance use disorders and co-occurring psychiatric illness

Target Audience

This educational activity was designed for health professionals in the fields of psychiatry, psychology, nursing, social work, counseling, medicine, pediatrics, and surgery.

Quick Facts

a CMEinfo video production

Provider: Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School

Course Director:
Lawrence E. Lifson, MD

Credits: Earn a maximum of 12.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits



Topics / Speakers



Further Information

Further Information

Further Information