How to Use this Course

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Understanding Addiction is available two to three times a year and the cost per person is $150. You MUST register for the desired training cohort before creating an account. If you need further information, please contact the Course Facilitator at [email protected]

Log In

When you create an account for the course, you will set up a unique username and password. You will need this every time you visit the site. The first page you see when you log in will be MY PAGE, where your progress in the course and your contributions to the forum will be recorded. This is also where you can create a report to send to yourself and/or your supervisor to show what you’ve completed in the course. Your user information and email address will not be made publicly available.

Beginning the Course

On the left hand side of MY PAGE is a list of links to a welcome page and eight lessons, which will take from an hour to 90 minutes to complete. The program is designed to be completed within an eight to 12-week period, but you will be able to log in and access your work for the entire four month period that your cohort is in session. There are also links to a Resources section with print versions of course readings, activities and additional resources. The section entitled Note to Supervisors and Facilitators offers suggestions on how to support the learning through supervision and group learning activities.

Course Texts

The primary texts for the course are two short Here to Help resources developed by the Centre for Addictions Reseach of BC (University of Victoria) and available in the Resources section. While readings from these texts are included in many of the lessons, participants are encouraged to read through both resources before beginning the course.

Working Through the Course

The course is divided into eight lessons that can be completed in any order, but each lesson builds on the last and it is recommended that you complete them in sequence. You can also go back and re-read any section, as well as your entries at any time. Once submitted, your entries will be saved and are not editable. Each lesson has an introductory video and is divided into four sections: Attitudes, Knowledge, Skills, and Competence. Each lesson also includes a link to the discussion forum where you can post thoughts, pose questions, or join the discussion with other learners in your cohort.


This section offers an opportunity to take a look at your own and some prevailing attitudes about substance use, addiction, and people who engage in compulsive behaviours. After you click the "Submit" button at the bottom of an exercise, your answers will be saved and you can go back and review them any time.


The Knowledge section provides the course readings related to the themes of each lesson. Readings are drawn from the primary texts, as well as other print and online resources. Participants should carefully review the required reading. Lessons also include supplementary readings that are optional but provide further information of interest. These readings will prepare you for the activities in the Skills section.


Focused on building the skills that will help you in your interactions with people with addictive behaviours, this section involves a variety of exercises related to the information in the Attitudes and Knowledge sections.


In this section you will be asked to write a paragraph demonstrating your competence (your ability to use the knowledge and skills) related to the contents of the lesson. When this section is completed and submitted, the lesson will show up on MY PAGE as complete.

Creating a Report

When you have completed the program (or at any time during the course) you can choose to create a report and email it to yourself and/or your supervisor. The report will show a list of lessons completed along with the learning objectives of each. You can also choose to include your Competence writings, summing up your learning from each lesson. This can be done by going to MY PAGE, either when you first log in or through the link at the top of the page.

Technical Problems

The site is designed to work on computer screens using standard web browsers as well as mobile devices, such as tablets and smartphones. If you have trouble accessing the content of the course or if you get an unexpected error when you submit something to the site, follow the Help link at the top of the page and fill out the email form. We will respond as soon as possible. 


For questions related to course content, please write a comment in the Open Forum section of the online course.  For any other inquiries, please email the Course Facilitator at [email protected]

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