Common Comorbidities with Substance Use Disorders (1 credit hour)

Program Summary:  This course explores the common comorbidities that occur with substance use disorders.  Many people who develop substance use disorders also experience other illnesses such as mental illness, chronic physical health conditions, and HIV.  These disorders often occur together or co-occur.  The course explores the connections between these comorbid conditions along with approaches to diagnosis and treatment.

This course is recommended for social workers and counselors and is appropriate for beginning and intermediate levels of practice.

“Book  Open the Course Reading Here.

Publisher:  National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Course Objectives:  To enhance professional practice, values, skills, and knowledge by identifying key issues related to common comorbidities with substance use disorders.

Learning Objectives:  Identify the three main pathways that can contribute to the comorbidity between substance use disorders and mental illnesses.  Describe common risk factors that can contribute to both mental illness and substance use and addiction.  Identify treatments for comorbid substance use disorder and mental health conditions.  Describe methods for HIV prevention and treatment for individuals with substance use disorders.

Review our pre-reading study guide.

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1: Part 1/ Around 1 in ____________ individuals with serious mental illness also have an SUD.
2: Early drug use is  ______________ risk factor for later development of substance use disorders.
3: Although the research is not yet conclusive, many studies suggest that ADHD medications ___________ the risk of substance use disorder among children with this condition.
4: Which of the following explains the high prevalence of comorbidity between substance use disorder and other mental illnesses?
5: It is estimated that 40-60% of an individual's vulnerability to substance use disorders is attributable to _____________.
6: The study of changes that affect how genetic information is read and acted on by cells in the body refers to
7: Which environmental factor is associated with an increased risk for both substance use disorders and mental illness?
8: Between 2004 and 2010, approximately ____________ of veterans had an untreated substance use disorder.
9: People with ______________________ have the highest prevalence of tobacco smoking- with rates up to 5 times higher than the general population.
10: Patients who have both a drug use disorder and another mental illness often exhibit symptoms that are _____________ compared with patients who have either disorder alone.
11: Which treatment option has been found to be consistently superior?
12: Which behavioral therapy is a treatment developed specifically for patients with bipolar disorders and substance use disorder?
13: Part 2/ An estimated _______________ of chronic pain patients misuse prescription opioids.
14: People with substance use disorders are __________ likely to adhere with their treatment plans or to take medications regularly.
15: Part 3/ Substance use exacerbates HIV during
16: Most incarcerated individuals with HIV acquired it
17: The risk of HIV transmission is _____________ when people who are infected with HIV receive ART to suppress their viral load.
18: The PrEP approach is an important component of HIV prevention and treatment for
19: The Treatment as Prevention approach relies on identifying
20: Part 4/ What legislation mandates that health care plans that cover behavioral health treatments do so to the same extent as treatment for physical health conditions?

In order to purchase or take this course, you will need to log in. If you do not have an account, you will need to register for a free account.

After you log in, a link will appear here that will allow you to purchase this course.


Free State Social Work, LLC, provider #1235, is approved as an ACE provider to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Regulatory boards are the final authority on courses accepted for continuing education credit. ACE provider approval period: 9/6/2021 - 9/6/2024. Social workers completing this course receive 1 continuing education credit.

Free State Social Work has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP NO. 6605. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. Free State Social Work is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.

G.M. Rydberg-Cox, MSW, LSCSW is the Continuing Education Director at Free State Social Work and responsible for the development of this course.  She received her Masters of Social Work in 1996 from the Jane Addams School of Social Work at the University of Illinois-Chicago and she has over 20 years of experience.  She has lived and worked as a social worker in Chicago, Boston, and Kansas City. She has practiced for many years in the area of hospital/medical social work.  The reading materials for this course were developed by another organization.