Addiction is one of the most pervasive problems faced by our society today. Addiction problems cut across age, gender, nationality, and income. Addiction is often hidden and even when recognized is seldom addressed. Increasingly, more and more people from a variety of professions such as prison administration, medical and youth services workers, teachers, personnel managers, parents and other family members, and recovering addicts, find themselves having to deal with the multitude of problems caused by Addiction. The purpose of this Online Course in Addiction Psychology is to provide up-todate information and actionable knowledge on the problem of Addiction. Through the lessons offered, you will gain insight into the causes of substance and behavioural addiction and learn how to better assess addiction situations and intervene appropriately. You will learn how to examine and improve your own ability to review situations properly and intervene appropriately.

The programme aims to:

• Enhance personal and professional growth of individuals working in the community, voluntary, statutory, and non-statutory organizations who are actively engaged in responding to drug and alcohol issues, from prevention and education to treatment and rehabilitation.

• Develop participants’ knowledge and abilities, with a focus on theoretical and evidence-based knowledge, as well as a variety of practical therapeutic skills, to enable them to respond effectively and appropriately to drug and alcohol issues in their workplace.

• Strengthen the principles and values that underpin lifelong and adult learning in individuals



  • A greater understanding of the biology and psychology of addiction.
  • A better understanding of the causes and effects of substance addiction and illicit drug addiction.
  • A better understanding of behaviorial addictions such as gambling and obsessive-compulsive behavior.
  • Increased knowledge of the latest treatment models and theories.
  • A better understanding of how to work with individuals with drug problems and how to help those affected by their drug use.

Course Content.


  • Understanding Addiction
  • Defining Addiction
  • The Hazards of Drug Abuse
  • Dependence and Addiction
  • Atmosphere of Change
  • Types of Drugs
  • Depressants: Opiates  Barbiturates Benzodiazepines
  • Alcohol
  • Stimulants: Cocaine & Crack, Amphetamines
  • Hallucinogens Psychogenic: LSD, Magic Mushrooms, Cannabis.

Focussing on the major Theories & Models of Addiction:

  • The Moral model
  • The Psychological Model: Psychoanalytic, Behavioural, Cognitive
  • The Medical/Disease Model: Genetic, Addictive Personality, Allergy, Illness & Biological
  • The Socio-Cultural Model: Modelling, National & Cultural Conditions & Family Systems Theory.

Unit 3.

Addiction Treatments

  • Pharmacotherapy: Antabuse, Ibogaine, Methadone & Detox-5
  • The Minnesota Model: 12 Step & Alcoholics Anonymous
  • Counselling & Therapy: Motivational Interviewing & Reality Therapy
  • Harm Reduction Model
  • Treatments in practice

Addiction in Families

  • Co-dependency, children of alcoholic families, parenting styles, & family factors
  • Relapse for families, ‘letting go’, dependent attitudes & dependent behaviours
  • Al-Anon
  • The intervention approach