You are visiting us from Virginia. You are located in HHS Region 3. Your Center is Central East ATTC.

Basic Neurochemistry for Non-Scientists

If you are at case conference or other meetings and hear clinicians describe why medications work, what dopamine does to the body, and other questions about brain chemistry and donā€™t understand the discussion, this course will describe some of the basics of neurochemistry.  It is focused for people who work in the field of substance use or co-occurring disorders and are not scientists.

Goal:  Review the basics of neurochemistry as it applies to substance use and some co-occurring disorders


  1. Identify the neuron as the basic building block of the central nervous system
  2. Identify neurotransmitters (dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin) and describe what they do in the brain
  3. Describe 3 parts of the brain (cortex, limbic system, and brain stem) and how they work together around the use of substances and, ultimately, behavior
  4. Describe how this information helps people in recovery and can also be applied to prevention


Module 1:  Central Nervous System
Module 2:  Neurotransmitters and the Brain

This (2-hour) webinar was provided under New York State Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS) Education and Training. Provider Certification Number (115) Training under a New York State OASAS Provider Certification is acceptable for meeting all or part of the CASAC/CPP/CPS education and training requirements.

The development of these training materials is supported by grant TI082504 (PI: M. Chaple) from the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), United States Department of Health and Human Services. The contents are solely the responsibility of the Northeast and Caribbean Addiction Technology Transfer Center, and do not necessarily represent the official views of SAMHSA

July 21, 2020
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