In the readings for Module 3, you read a great deal of information about the biological basis of substance use, substance misuse, and substance use disorder. You learned:
- How pedigree, twin, adoption, and genomic studies contribute to our understanding of the genetic basis of substance use and substance use disorders;
- That genetics plays an important role, but that genetics do not operate alone;
- The mechanisms throughout which genetics have their influence on substance use disorders;
- The ways that different areas of the brain might be involved in substance misuse and substance use disorder, particular elements of the limbic system;
- How important age at which the brain is exposed to alcohol and other substances matters greatly and why this matters;
- Basics about how neurotransmitters are involved in substance use and the progression to substance misuse or substance use disorder;
- Basic principles of pharmacokinetics related to drug dosing and metabolism;
- Basic principles of psychopharmacology that explain tolerance and withdrawal, as well we how drugs interact and how medications might help treat substance use disorder.
You are well-prepared to move into our next module which translates much of what we have learned is going on in the brain into what transpires psychologically.