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Pharmacotherapy for Alcohol Use Disorder
SUD 101 Core Curriculum Overview

Curriculum overview:  While healthcare professionals are often on the front lines of treating substance use disorders, most have limited (if any) training in this area. The SUD 101 Core Curriculum was created to provide a foundation of the current research, resources, and support needed to increase healthcare professionals’ competence and confidence in the care of their patients across the continuum of care. This activity, Pharmacotherapy for Alcohol Use Disorder, is part of the 23-module curriculum. Please see below for a summary of module 4 out of 23:
Module 4 Overview
Title: Pharmacotherapy for Alcohol Use Disorder 

Larissa Mooney, MD, Professor of Clinical Psychiatry; Director, Division of Addiction Psychiatry; UCLA Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences 

Module Description: Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is commonly encountered in clinical settings, and FDA approved medications are available. This module reviews and compares pharmacological treatments for individuals with AUD, including acamprosate, disulfiram, and naltrexone (oral and long-acting intramuscular formulations), as well as non-approved (off-label) options including topiramate and gabapentin . Diagnosis of AUD and definitions of binge drinking and “at risk” drinking leveles (per US Dietary 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. 

Educational Objectives:

  • Explain how to establish a diagnosis for Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD)
  • Assess the rationale for using pharmacotherapy for AUD
  • Describe dosing and mechanism of action for the following medications:
    • FDA approved (naltrexone, acamprosate, disulfiram)
    • Off-label (topiramate, gabapentin)
  • Identify AUD pharmacotherapy options through a case vignette
Availability: On-Demand
Expires on Jan 12, 2026
Cost: FREE
Credit Offered:
1 CME Credit
1 PA-CME Credit
1 Other Professionals Credit
1 Nursing Credit
1 Pharmacy Credit
1 IPCE Credit
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 by cooperative agreement no. 1H79TI086770 and grant no. 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.

8-Hour DEA Training Inquiries, email PCSS-MOUD.


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