Project Result: Rethinking Substance Use Disorder Practitioner Learning and Teaching

In the US, there are more than 20 million adults with substance use disorders (SUDs), and many of these adults also experience mental illness (NIDA, 2017). In 2018, the CDC found that nearly 12% of people aged 12 years and over reported illicit drug use in the past month. Despite how prevalent SUDs are, many health professionals lack the confidence, knowledge, and skills to perform evidence-based screening and treatment.

Through grant funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), we are changing that with Project RESULT (Rethinking Substance Use Disorder Practitioner Learning and Teaching). The goal of Project RESULT is to expand the number of healthcare practitioners that are competent to deliver high-quality, evidence-based SUD treatment and referral.  An interprofessional team of educators at George Washington University's Schools of Medicine & Health Sciences, Nursing, and Public Health has created this evidence-based curriculum to prepare health professionals like you to care for patients and families impacted by substance use disorders, including alcohol, marijuana, opioids, stimulants, tobacco, and more. This course provides a practical, succinct overview of addiction as a brain disease, screening, brief intervention and treatment and referral for care. 

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of this activity, participants should be able to:

  • Describe the neurobiology of addiction as a chronic, relapsing brain disease
  • Demonstrate culturally responsive communication skills with patients at risk for or with SUD
  • Identify individuals with SUD using evidence-based screening tools (e.g., SBIRT strategies)
  • Educate patients about SUD with language that is. positive, productive, and inclusive
  • Formulate an evidence-based treatment plan for individuals with common SUDs (e.g., alcohol, marijuana, opioids, and stimulants)
  • Collaborate as an interprofessional healthcare team to design comprehensive SUD treatment plans
  • Develop referral to treatment plans for patients with SUDs that require specialized care, including attention to address barriers to care and establish clear methods for follow-up