Modules 3 & 4: Biological Models of Addiction

Modules 3 & 4: Introduction

The reading for Module 3 & 4 introduces concepts essential for understanding biological theories of addiction, as well as how alcohol and other substances affect the brain and other organ systems in the human body. This online coursebook is treated as a double volume because of the complexity of the content—in fact, the biological basis of addiction could be an entire course all on its own. Our Module 3 & 4 online textbook includes content developed by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and a chapter co-authored by this textbook’s author.


Module 3 & 4 Reading Objectives

After engaging with these reading materials and learning resources, you should be able to:

  • Explain basic principles of neuroscience as they relate to understanding substance use disorders/addiction (neuroanatomy and neurotransmitters)
  • Identify evidence related to the role of genetics in substance use disorders/addiction
  • Identify the ways that substance use affects the brain, behavior, and overall health
  • Define several key terms related to substance use disorders.


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Theories and Biological Basis of Addiction Copyright © by Audrey Begun is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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