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Digital Recordings

The Unique Nature of Opioid Use Disorders: Neuroscience, Co-Occurring Disorders, and Treatment Approaches

Average Rating:
Charles Atkins, MD
6 Hours 15 Minutes
Audio and Video
Feb 09, 2018
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Recordings


  • Strategies from CBT, DBT and other evidence-based psychotherapies
  • Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT): Effectively combine medication with therapeutic interventions
  • Formulate treatment plans for opioid use disorders and co-occurring mental health disorders with an integrated whole-person approach

Painkillers can kill more than just pain. Death from opioid overdoses have bypassed those from motor vehicle accidents. Dangerous synthetic drugs have flooded the streets — someone’s first use may be their last.

Ruined lives, broken families, incarceration, and premature death. These are the extreme, life destroying consequences of opioid addiction. And opioids do not discriminate. Everyday problems like back pain, even a toothache, can lead a person down the path of opioid abuse. It can happen to anyone.

Your connection to the issue is personal - witnessing the tortured deterioration of clients, friends, and family struggling with addiction. You want to help, but knowing about other types of addiction isn’t enough. Opioid use disorders are distinct from other substance abuse disorders; a combination of brain change and physical dependence have created an epidemic of unprecedented proportions. Complicating things further, most individuals with opioid use disorders have at least one co-occurring mental health problem that must be addressed.

Are you prepared to end the suffering and tackle the unique and complex challenges of opioid addiction?

Board-certified psychiatrist, published author, and clinical trainer Dr. Charles Atkins has in-depth personal experience helping clients grappling with the devastating effects of opioid use disorder. Join him as he walks you through the specifics of how to craft effective evidence-based treatment strategies to treat opioid addiction and co-occurring disorders.

Watch this vital seminar and walk away with:

  • Diagnostic criteria and public-domain screening tools.
  • Psychotherapeutic strategies and supports tailored to achieve positive treatment outcomes in those with opioid use disorder.
  • Options for combining Medication Assisted Treatment with psychotherapeutic approaches.
  • Fully integrated treatment plans for opioid use disorders and co-occurring mental health disorders.

Get the tools and techniques you need to help your clients before it’s too late!



This online program is worth 6.25 hours CPD.



Charles Atkins, MD's Profile

Charles Atkins, MD Related seminars and products

Charles Atkins, MD, is a board-certified psychiatrist, clinical trainer, Chief Medical Officer of Community Mental Health Affiliates (CMHA), member of the Yale volunteer faculty, and a past regional medical director for the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (CT). A frequent lecturer on opioid addiction and Medication Assisted Treatment, Dr. Atkins is the author of Opioid Use Disorders: A Holistic Guide to Assessment, Treatment, and Recovery (PESI, 2018) and Co-Occurring Disorders: Integrated Assessment and Treatment of Substance Use and Mental Disorders (PESI, 2014) which has been included in the core curriculum of multiple schools of social work and substance abuse counseling. He is also the author of more than 15 other traditionally published books, both fiction and nonfiction, and has had hundreds of short stories and articles appear in publications ranging from The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) to Writer’s Digest Magazine.


Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Dr. Charles Atkins is the managing member of Atkins Unlimited, LLC. He is a practicing psychiatrist and an instructor at the Yale University School of Medicine. He serves as the CME Medical Director for PESI, Inc., and he receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc. He is a published author and receives royalties. he has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.

Non-financial: Dr. Charles Atkins has no relevant non-financial relationships.


  1. Discover how the neurobiology of opioid addiction can help you and your clients set realistic goals.
  2. Employ evidence-based psychotherapeutic and wellness approaches when working with clients addicted to opioids.
  3. Determine how behavioral interventions and Medication Assisted Treatment can be combined to improve treatment outcomes.
  4. Assess the impact of co-occurring mental health disorders on opioid addiction treatment outcomes.
  5. Develop fully integrated recovery plans that meet clients’ regulatory needs.
  6. Establish how opioid use disorder differs from other substance use disorders and communicate how this impacts treatment approach.


  • How You Get Hooked in the First Place:
    • Understand the Neuroscience of Opioid Addiction
      • The Brain’s reward system: Mesolimbic Dopamine Pathway
      • How chronic opioid use changes the brain
      • Differences from other substance addictions
      • Distinct risks of opioid abuse
      • How neurobiology can help you determine treatment methods and establish realistic goals
    • Psychotherapeutic Approaches:
      • Tailor Proven Techniques to the Person with Opioid Use Disorder
      • CBT and how it’s applied in evidence-based practice
      • DBT and dialectical abstinence
      • Motivational enhancement
      • Trauma-based therapies that target substance abuse disorders
      • Peer-based models
      • Contingency management - address problematic behaviors
      • Mindfulness, wellness-based activities and physical exercise
      • How to assess when treatment ends or is not working
      • Research limitations and risks of psychotherapeutic approaches
    • Treat Drug Addiction with Medication:
      • How Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Can Save Lives
        • Is the controversy over? Benefits, drawbacks and risks of MAT
        • The latest findings - research and research limitations
        • Opioid agonists and antagonists Methadone, buprenorphine, naltrexone
        • Naloxone (Narcan)
        • How to combat associated stigma
        • Current regulations
        • Role of the behavioral health clinician in MAT
    • Co-Occurring Assessment and State-of the- Art Tools
      • The impact of opioid use and co-occurring disorders on treatment outcomes
      • The Intake - if you don’t look for it you won’t find it
      • High-risk areas for misdiagnoses and missed diagnoses
      • The utility of standardized assessment tools and when to use them
      • Obtain no-cost, and well-validated, diagnosis specific instruments
      • Objective data and how and when to access prescription monitoring databases
      • The assessment of dangerousness
      • Assess readiness for change, and stage-of change theory
      • How to approach level of care decisions
      • Validity in co-occurring treatment research
      • Risks associated with co-occurring treatment options
    • Co-Occurring Treatment/Recovery Plans in 3 Easy Steps
      • Create the Problem/Need List
      • Set goals and objectives that meet client and regulatory needs
      • Develop fully integrated treatment/recovery plans

Please Note: PESI is not affiliated or associated with Marsha M. Linehan, PhD, ABPP, or her organizations.

Target Audience

Social Workers, Counselors, Psychologists, Addiction Counselors, Therapists, Case Managers, Nurses, Public Health Department Staff, Marriage and Family Therapists, Other Mental Health Professionals



Overall:      5

Total Reviews: 12


Teri S

"excellent speaker!"

Mark C

"I'd definitely take another course from Dr. Atkins. EXCELLENT "

Carolyn V

"Very useful, science-based information presented in a very human and engaging way. "

Samantha C

"Fantastic! I would like to attend more trainings with Dr. Atkins."

Julie C

"One of the most knowledgeable presenters I've ever seen!"

Sylvia B R

"Dr. Atkins is entertaining and knowledgeable. He kept the participants engaged. Thoroughly enjoyed it!"

Benjamin S

"Very well done"

Sarah L

"He is intelligent and can deliver with a sense of humor, which helps me learn."

Patricia S

"His sense of humor and intelligence were helpful."

Thomas S

"Excellent program!"

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