Managing Addiction: A Framework for Successful Treatment

5 weeks total 2 - 3 hours each week recommended

Please select the start dates for your courses below.

Scheduled Start:

Course Overview

Addiction is such a common problem today that people experiencing alcohol, nicotine or other drug problems present in many different healthcare settings. The challenge of linking people experiencing addiction to the right response is a serious one, and much depends on understanding addiction and recognising the role that we all play in the pathway to recovery.

This course is intended to help you meet this challenge by increasing your understanding of the biology of addiction and the available treatment options in the different stages of the recovery journey.

Key questions we will look at in this course include:

  • When do we call “excessive use” addiction?
  • Why is it so difficult to change addictive behaviour?
  • Who can play a role to get people on the track to recovery?
  • How do you respond to people with mild to moderate problems?
  • How can you assess and increase motivation to change?
  • What sort of interventions can support a person experiencing severe addiction?
  • What is my role as a professional, either within or outside of addiction care?
  • How can I identify the best of the many options available?
  • What are hurdles to get the right support to manage addiction around the world?


What You’ll Learn

  • Framework for pathways to recovery
  • How to identify people at risk of addiction
  • Applied understanding of intervention and treatment options


A background in healthcare may be helpful prior to taking this course, but there are no formal prerequisites.

Meet Your Instructors

​Femke Buisman-Pijlman

Senior Lecturer Addiction Studies at University of Adelaide Dr Femke Buisman-Pijlman is a leader in Addiction Studies and online education. She is an award-winning teacher and researcher in the Discipline of Pharmacology at the University of Adelaide, where she is a Senior Lecturer Addiction Studies and head of the Behavioural Neuroscience lab. As program leader of the International Programme in Addiction Studies, and other postgraduate degrees in Alcohol and Drug Studies, she has taught the biology of addiction and treatment options to a wide range of students. Femke is also the convenor of the major in Addiction and Mental Health which has recently been introduced to the Bachelor of Health and Medical Sciences at the University of Adelaide. Femke has extensive experience teaching fully online programs to professionals in the field from all around the world. She has extensive experience working in the interdisciplinary field of addiction. Currently, Femke’s research is demonstrating how early life experiences affect behaviour and susceptibility to addiction. Since 2008, Femke has been Graduate Affiliate Faculty at Virginia Commonwealth University. Femke is postgraduate coordinator for Pharmacology and passionate about engaging kids in neuroscience.

Linda Gowing

Associate Professor in the Discipline of Pharmacology at University of Adelaide Associate Professor Linda Gowing is an expert in best practice in the treatment of drug and alcohol problems. She is a Principal Research Officer at Drug and Alcohol Services South Australia (DASSA), and an Associate Professor in the Discipline of Pharmacology at the University of Adelaide. DASSA is the government provider of specialist treatment services for people with drug and alcohol problems in South Australia. Her work at DASSA enables Linda to bring to the course an awareness of the practicalities of providing treatment to people with alcohol and other drug problems, as well as the more academic knowledge of research evidence. Linda also has experience in health care policy having worked for the Australian Commonwealth Department of Health, including two years in charge of the section on illicit drug policy. Linda’s research interests relate to critical appraisal of research evidence on the treatment of addiction and translation of evidence into practice. She is affiliated with the Cochrane Collaboration, which produces The Cochrane Library, a collection of up-to-date systematic reviews on healthcare. Linda is a member of the editorial board for the Cochrane Drugs and Alcohol Group, an author of multiple Cochrane reviews on different aspects of addiction treatment, and has been a mentor for researchers in Thailand, China, USA and Australia, undertaking systematic reviews. Linda also has experience in the preparation of evidence-based guidelines and has been involved in teaching medical and science students on the treatment of alcohol and other drug users, evidence-based practice and critical appraisal of research.

Robert Ali

Associate Professor at University of Adelaide Associate Professor Robert Ali is a public health physician and specialist in addiction medicine who is passionate about training professionals in the field from around the world. He is the Director of a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Research into the Treatment of Drug and Alcohol Problems at the University of Adelaide and has recently retired from his position as the Director of Community Based Treatments at the Drug and Alcohol Services South Australia. Robert is a member of the Australian National Advisory Council on Alcohol and Drugs, member of the Cochrane Alcohol and Drug Group editorial board and the WHO Expert Advisory Panel on Drug Dependence and Alcohol Problems. Robert is also active in teaching undergraduate medical students and online training. Robert has chaired several reviews of the national methadone and/or buprenorphine policies. He was the lead researcher in South Australia for the National Evaluation of Pharmacotherapies for Opioid Dependence.

Abdallah Salem

Head of the Discipline of Pharmacology in the Faculty of Health Sciences at University of Adelaide Dr Abdallah Salem is an expert in the effects of drugs of abuse. He is the Head of the Discipline of Pharmacology in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Adelaide. He teaches pharmacology to all levels of students and across different programs. His teaching and research interests are focused on understanding the central mechanisms underlying the acute and chronic effects of drugs of abuse and dependence. Abdallah is a recipient of a number of learning and teaching grants and he assessed functionalities of various eLearning tools for lecture and other course content delivery.


5 weeks

Experience Level


Learning Partner

University of Adelaide


Health & Safety Philosophy & Ethics Social Sciences