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Module 4: Pharmacotherapy for Alcohol Use Disorder
Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is commonly encountered in clinical settings, and FDA approved medications are available. This module reviews and compares pharmacological treatment options for individuals with AUD, including acamprosate, disulfiram, and naltrexone (oral and long-acting intramuscular formulations). Diagnosis of AUD and definitions of binge drinking and “at risk” drinking (per NIAAA guidelines) are discussed. Effects of alcohol use on the brain, including neurotransmitter effects and withdrawal symptoms, are also reviewed. The module concludes with discussion of a case vignette in which medication options for AUD are considered.
Target Audience
Physicians, nurses, and healthcare teams who are treating patients with substance use disorder (SUD).
Larissa Mooney, MD | Associate Professor of Psychiatry; UCLA Integrated Substance Abuse Programs

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

  • Summarize mechanisms of action for three approved medications for alcohol use disorder treatment
  • Describe common adverse effects of approved medications for alcohol use disorder
  • Report dosing regimens for alcohol use disorder medications

Core Competencies as a result of participating in this activity:   
Interpersonal Skills and Communication
Medical Knowledge
Patient Care
Method of participation in the activity

In order to receive maximum credit, learners must: 

1. Review the materials provided in this module.
2. Earn a minimum cumulative score of 80% on the post-test. 
3. Complete an evaluation to assess satisfaction and plans for individual and/or team practice change.
4. Follow instructions at the end of the course regarding how to retrieve a certificate.* 

*Credit will not be awarded unless all components of the program are completed.  Partial credit will not be awarded.

Availability: Retired
Cost: FREE
Credit Offered:
No Credit Offered
The content on this site is intended solely to inform and educate medical professionals. This site shall not be used for medical advice and is not a substitute for the advice or treatment of a qualified medical professional.

Funding for this initiative was made possible (in part) by grant nos. 1H79TI086770 and 1H79TI085588 from SAMHSA. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

For Buprenorphine Training Inquiries, email PCSS-MOUD.


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