Psychology of Addiction and Recovery online short course

Course currently in presentation. (Still accepting late registrations)

Download the course prospectus to be notified when the next presentation starts

Course information

Registration Closes:
20 October 2020
Course Starts:
28 October 2020
6 weeks, excluding orientation
5-6 hours per week, entirely online
USD $1,500
Payment Options
Stanford Center for Health Education


As a result of scientific research, we know that addiction is a disease that affects both the brain and behavior. These discoveries have impacted and improved our understanding of compulsive drug use, enabling us to respond effectively to the problem with scientifically supported psychological interventions. Treatment, recovery, and prevention of addictive behavior has become a global strategy. Guided by Dr. Anna Lembke, the medical director of Addiction Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine, and leading activist in the opioid epidemic, the Psychology of Addiction and Recovery online short course from the Stanford Center for Health Education (SCHE), a part of Stanford Medicine, explores the complex relationship between doctors and patients, the science of addiction, and the barriers to successfully addressing drug addiction and dependence at a personal and systemic level. Over the course of six weeks, you’ll evaluate how medications, approaches to psychotherapy, and peer support can enhance recovery, and how scientific evidence can be used to establish innovative addiction treatments. You’ll also explore the neurobiological factors underlying addiction, and how these impact intervention and recovery efforts today.

Download course prospectus

What will set you apart

On completion of this course, you’ll walk away with:

  • An understanding of the history of addiction and how perceptions of addiction have changed over time
  • An intuitive grasp of the neurological and psychological effects of addiction, and how this aids in the path to recovery
  • Awareness of how peer-based policies and approaches to recovery can be used to treat addiction, and how policy-level interventions can be used to address substance misuse in populations
  • Insight into biological and psychological approaches to recovery

Is this course for you?

There has been significant progress and expansion in the development of evidence-based psychosocial treatments for substance abuse and psychological dependence. Founded on new research, this course offers a platform to better understand substance and process addiction, and how these impact intervention and recovery. This course is designed for health and care professionals such as social workers, recovery coaches, and mental health counselors, all of whom will find interest in the practical insight into addiction and recovery. Additionally, physicians could benefit from exposure to biological, psychological, and social options for recovery management.

Course curriculum

Learn about scientifically supported psychological interventions and how they can be used to treat addiction as you work through the weekly modules of this online short course.

  • Orientation module Welcome to your Online Campus
  • Module 1 The history of addiction
  • Module 2 The neurobiology of the addicted brain
  • Module 3 Screening and early intervention
  • Module 4 Biological approaches to recovery
  • Module 5 Psychological approaches to recovery
  • Module 6 Peer-based and policy approaches to recovery

Your Academic Director

The design of this online course is guided by Stanford Center for Health Education faculty and industry experts who will share their experience and in-depth subject knowledge with you throughout the course.

Dr. Anna Lembke

Anna Lembke

Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine

View the brochure to see all the industry thought leaders featured in this course.

Earn a certificate of completion from Stanford Center for Health Education

Explore the science of addiction and recovery and earn an official certificate of completion from Stanford Center for Health Education

Your certificate will be issued in your legal name and sent to you upon successful completion of the course, as per the stipulated requirements.


When do I start?

Course currently in presentation. (Still accepting late registrations)

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    GetSmarter's learning model is designed to help you, as a working professional, improve your skills without compromising on work and family responsibilities. The course work is broken up into weekly, manageable bite-sized modules, with incremental deadlines, designed to help you pace yourself over the duration of the course and allow you the legroom to work when it suits you best.

    At the beginning of each week you'll be presented with all the lectures, notes and assignments necessary for completion. You also have access to your Success Advisor who will help you set goals and track key milestones, manage your time, and field any administrative requests you might have.


    By improving your skills and industry knowledge, you'll be having an influence on the success of your organisation.

    Why wouldn't you ask your boss to help you fund your studies if it's going to have an impact on the way you do business?

    37% of our past students receive financial assistance from their employers. You can ask for help, too. Here is a guide to show you how to receive financial assistance from your employer.


    The Online Campus will be your virtual classroom for the duration of your course. Through its easy-to-use interface you'll have access to a diverse variety of course content formats, including: interactive video lectures, module notes, practice quizzes, Prezis, assignment briefs, and additional web resources.

    On the Online Campus, you'll also be able to ask questions and interact with your fellow students and Head Tutor through the Online Campus discussion forums. If you're experiencing tech issues or need advice from your personal Success Advisor, you can use the Online Campus to get in touch.