The Influence of Stress on the Transition From Drug Use to Addiction

About the Course:

Stress—that is, any type of stimulus that challenges the organism’s normal internal balance—induces a physiologic response involving a variety of hormones and other signaling molecules that act on, among other organs, the brain. This stress response also can influence the progression of alcohol and other drug (AOD) addiction through various stages. For example, AODs can directly activate the stress response. In turn, certain stress hormones also act on the brain system that mediates the rewarding experiences associated with AOD use.


National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Publication Date:

Alcohol Research and Health, Volume 31, Number 2, 2008


Gary Wand, M.D.

Gary Wand, M.D., is a professor of medicine and psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.

Recommended For:

This course is recommended for health care professionals, especially addiction counselors, psychologists, mental health counselors, social workers, and nurses who seek knowledge about the influence of stress on the transition from drug use to addiction. It is appropriate for intermediate to advanced levels of participants’ knowledge.

Course Objectives:

  1. Explain the biochemical definition of stress and how it relates to theories of addiction.

  2. Discuss the initial stage of alcohol and drug use based on positive reward.

  3. Define the end of drug salience in the second stage of the alcohol and drug use addiction process.

  4. Describe the final stage of alcohol and drug addiction in which drug use is based on negative affect and stress.

Course Article

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Course Number: 101658
Total Credit Hours: 2cr
Exam Fee: $13.94
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Format: Online Article
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Popularity: 272 members have taken this course