Resources for Courses

Research-Backed Ways to Reduce or Eliminate Substance Use
Learn Evidence-Informed Skills to Address Substance Use Concerns

Recommended reading, in priority order

  1. Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding AddictionMaia Szalavitz
  2. NIDA: Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction
  3. Chapter 4, in Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs and Health, November, 2016*
  4. Changing the Narrative
  5. Help That Helps: A Kind, Research-Informed, Field-Tested Guide for People with Substance Use Concerns, by Anne Giles, M.A., M.S., L.P.C. and Sanjay Kishore, M.D., July, 2019

Seeking evidence-based care

  1. Guide to Requesting Medical Care for Substance Use Disorders
  2. Outline of an Initial, Evidence-Informed Treatment Plan for Substance Use Disorder
  3. Guide for Clinicians to Initial Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder

Getting started after receiving medical care

  1. Self-Kindness Begins with a Self-Hug
  2. Sun of Self-Kindness” coloring page by Nichol Brown
  3. How to Regain Autonomy Over Automaticity
  4. Approach vs. Avoid Reality Diagram
  5. Hand drawn graph showing the relationship between events, feelings and thoughts
  6. If abstinence is the preferred – or mandated – treatment goal: Insider’s Guide to Early Abstinence
  7. Outplaying the Game of Abstinence SolitaireFact Deck | Action Deck

The “Big Four” Awareness Skills

Attention management

Emotion regulation

Thought-sorting: helpful vs. unhelpful | facts vs. beliefs

Accessing inner wisdom

Awareness Skills Summary

Values and Priorities

What’s next

What fights addiction? Love, evidence, respect

A vista of possibilities




These materials are designed to use both simple language and clinical terms so they’re easy to understand and you can do your own research. You’re encouraged to use PubMed to find research articles on topics of interest to you.

“I was in hell,” she said. “And I made a vow: when I get out, I’m going to come back and get others out of here.”
– Marsha Linehan, Ph.D., founder of Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), quoted in the New York Times and expanded upon in her 2020 memoir, Building a Life Worth Living

*The Surgeon General’s Report, published in November, 2016, needs these updates:

  • In terms of treatment effectiveness, research data does not support inclusion of 12-step approaches or rehab.
  • Research does not support inclusion of naltrexone, or extended release naltrexone, as a primary treatment for opioid use disorder, equivalent to methadone and buprenorphine. Further, naltrexone may be contraindicated for those with liver disease and can be associated with depression. According to Buchel et al., November, 2018, “blocking opioid receptors decreases the pleasure of rewards in humans.”

Proposed future courses

Last updated 6/9/20

This content is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical or professional advice. Consult a qualified health care professional for personalized medical and professional advice.