Understanding Addiction: An Overview for Corrections Professionals

Understanding Addiction: An Overview for Corrections Professionals 

According to the National Institutes of Health, drug addiction and crime continue to be linked; yet justice-involved individuals still do not receive needed treatment. The Principles of Drug Abuse Treatment for Criminal Justice Populations, developed by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, directs that treatment for addicted individuals should target factors associated with criminal behavior; that criminal justice supervision should incorporate treatment planning; and that treatment providers should be aware of correctional supervision requirements.

This course will provide corrections and community corrections professionals with information on addiction and common treatment approaches to enhance their understanding of factors that may affect their supervision and management of individuals with addiction issues. This introduction includes an overview of risk factors associated with addiction and prominent treatment strategies. It will also provide an overview of the biopsychosocial model of addiction, which emphasizes the interplay of biological, psychological, and social factors that contribute to addiction.


Hours: 2.00


Certificates provided by accrediting body (3 Match)

American Jail Association Certification


This activity is approved for 2.00 contact hours.

American Probation and Parole Association


This activity is approved for 2.00 contact hours.

California Board of State and Community Corrections


This activity is approved for 2.00 STC credit hours.

Course Details

Course Code: REL-PS-0-UAOCP
Hours: 2
Type: Online Course
Content Expiration Date: 3/31/2024
Learning Objectives:
Define and identify 4 risk factors of addiction.
Explain at least 3 factors common to “addictive” personalities.
Explain the Biopsychosocial (BPS) Model of Addiction.
Describe the 4 stages of addiction.
Identify 5 types of drugs.
Discuss 4 types of therapeutic approaches to addiction treatment and at least 10 principles of effective treatment.


Section 1: Introduction

A.    About This Course

B.    Learning Objectives

Section 2: Overview of Addiction

  1. Meet John

  2. Definition of Addiction

  3. Diagnostic Criteria of Addiction/Substance Use Disorders

  4. Preconceived Thoughts About Addiction

  5. Risk Factors

  6. Common Characteristics of the “Addictive” Personality

  7. Risky “Addictive Behaviors”

  8. More on Addictive Personalities

  9. How Do Addictions Develop?

  10. Addictive Risk Formula

  11. Review

  12. Summary

Section 3: Models of Addiction

  1. Historical Models of Addiction

  2. The Biopsychosocial Model of Addiction

  3. Biology

  4. Psychology

  5. Social

  6. Review

  7. Summary

Section 4: Understanding Use, Abuse, and Addiction

  1. The 4 Stages of Addiction

  2. Different Drugs Impact Different People in Different Ways

  3. Types of Drugs

  4. Why Do People Begin Using Drugs?

  5. Neurobiological Response

  6. Key Takeaways

  7. Review

  8. Summary

Section 5: Treatment

  1. Treatment

  2. Treatment of Addiction

  3. Types of Treatment

  4. Therapeutic Approaches to Addiction Treatment

  5. Principles of Effective Treatment

  6. Treatment for John

  7. Summary

Section 6: Conclusion

  1. Summary

  2. Course Contributor

  3. Resources

  4. References

  5. Congratulations!

  6. Exam

  7. Brain Sparks

Staff Writer: Kimberly Cobb, MS
Mrs. Cobb is a Lead SME Writer/Trainer at Relias. Her primary writing responsibilities are in the Health and Human Services vertical, in the content areas of public safety and behavioral health. Mrs. Cobb is also the onboarding trainer for new Relias staff joining the Content Department. Mrs. Cobb has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Correctional and Juvenile Justice Studies and a Master of Science Degree in Criminal Justice. She has over 24 years of experience working in criminal and juvenile justice. Her work includes direct service, research, and training and technical assistance. She was the statewide evaluator for the Commonwealth of Kentucky for adult, juvenile, and family drug courts; a Research Associate for the American Probation & Parole Association providing training and technical assistance to Native American Nations/Alaska Native Villages on systemic criminal and juvenile justice initiatives; and a Research Administrator for the University of Kentucky. Disclosure: Kimberly Cobb, MS has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Expert Reviewer: David Patzer, MD
David Patzer, M.D. has been practicing child, adolescent, and adult psychiatry for nearly 20 years. His education includes an undergraduate degree from Illinois Wesleyan University and a medical degree from Northwestern Medical School in Chicago, Illinois. He completed residency training in General Adult Psychiatry at Yale University and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Fellowship training at the Yale University Child Study Center. Dr. Patzer served as Assistant Professor at Yale and subsequently at the University of Arizona in Tucson teaching child psychiatry. He also attended the Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Patzer is board certified in general psychiatry, child and adolescent psychiatry, and addiction medicine, as well as licensed for practice in both Tennessee and Arizona. He has served in numerous director-level positions for child and adolescent psychiatry. He has also published numerous articles on developmental disorders and substance use disorders. Dr. Patzer currently serves as the Adult and Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist and Clinical Supervisor for Mental Health Cooperative in Nashville, Tennessee. He is also the Medical Director for the Middle Tennessee Bradford Health Services (Addiction Treatment) in Nashville, Franklin, and Clarksville, Tennessee. Disclosure: David Patzer, MD has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Target Audience:
The target audience for this course is: Correctional Officers; in the following settings: Adult Corrections, Juvenile Corrections.
Relias will be transparent in disclosing if any commercial support, sponsorship or co-providership is present prior to the learner completing the course.
Course Delivery Method and Format
Asynchronous/Online Distance Learning; please see certificate details for specifics on delivery format.
Relias has a grievance policy in place to facilitate reports of dissatisfaction. Relias will make every effort to resolve each grievance in a mutually satisfactory manner. In order to report a complaint or grievance please contact Relias.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Support by completing the web form (https://www.relias.com/help) or by using the chat functionality.
All courses offered by Relias, LLC are developed from a foundation of diversity, inclusiveness, and a multicultural perspective. Knowledge, values and awareness related to cultural competency are infused throughout the course content.
Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, service mark, manufacturer or otherwise does not constitute or imply any endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of, or affiliation with, Relias, LLC.
All characteristics and organizations referenced in the following training are fictional. Any resemblance to any actual organizations or persons living or dead, is purely coincidental.
To earn continuing education credit for this course you must achieve a passing score of 80% on the post-test and complete the course evaluation.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Customer Support here.