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Science of Addiction & Addiction as a Disease: The Medical Model

September 30, 2021 @ 9:00 am 12:30 pm EDT

Registration deadline September 23rd


In this seminar we will discuss Substance Use Disorders on the level of brain chemistry and cellular mechanisms. We will discuss how the brain’s natural adaptive strategies, helpful in the rest of our lives, are hijacked by problematic substance use such that addiction results. Additionally, the idea of “disease” will be explored with the aim of determining how well SUD fits within our understanding of that concept.


Learning Objectives: – at the end of this training the attendee will be able to:
-Discuss the ways that substance use disorders establish themselves within the natural adaptive strategies of the central nervous system

-Understand the key function of Dopamine within both the limbic system and frontal lobes of the brain

-Recognize how neuroplasticity plays an important role in both the establishment of SUD, and in recovery

-Discuss tolerance and withdrawal on the level of neuronal surface receptors

-Catalog the withdrawal syndromes typical of specific substances

-Discuss what we mean by “Disease” and understand how SUD does or does not fit within that understanding

-Address the role of stigma and its influence on the societal acceptance of the Medical Model

9-9:30 Introduction and definitions
9:30-10:00 SUD and the Central Nervous System
10:00-10:15 Break
10:15-10:45 Dopamine and its Role in SUD
10:45-11:00 Neuroplasticity
11:00-11:15 Withdrawal round-up
11:15-11:30 Break
11:30-12:00 What is a Disease and does it apply to SUD?
12:00-12:15 Discussion of Stigma
12:15-12:30 Closing comments and questions


Christopher Bondi MD has spent the bulk of his career working with patients in the fields of Psychiatry and Addiction Medicine.  He has worked in both inpatient and outpatient SUD treatment environments, as well as in teaching hospitals in Vermont and the Midwest.   For the past several years, Dr. Bondi has added a teaching focus to his work, working to increase awareness and interest in compassionate treatment of people suffering from Substance Use Disorders.  Dr. Bondi currently serves as an instructor for the Vermont Recovery Coach Academy and Recovery Vermont.  He also serves as Continuum Faculty for the American Society of Addiction Medicine.  

3 Credits: NAADAC CU’s are approved; Social Worker CE’s and Allied MH CE’s pending