Substance Abuse Disorders and Mental Health Disorders: How You Can Help

Activity Preview

Substance use and certain mental health disorders often share underlying causes, such as changes in brain composition, genetic vulnerabilities, and early exposure to stress or trauma. Patients may initially turn to substances to cope with or self-medicate their mental health conditions, which may also be uncovered or exacerbated by drugs and alcohol. This session explores the many connections and concerns and gives you proven tactics for helping your patients. This was originally part of the APhA Pain Institute 2020.

Learning Objectives

At the completion of this application-based activity, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the commonality and connection of mental health conditions and substance use disorders.
  2. Evaluate the impact of adverse childhood experiences in the development of substance use disorders and mental health disorders.
  3. Discuss the risk of developing mental health conditions in patients with substance use disorders.
  4.  Discuss the biological and psychological causes of misusing substances in patients with mental health conditions.
  5. Describe how pharmacists can use their understanding of the connection between mental health conditions and substance use disorders to assist patients who are in recovery or struggling with the disease of addiction. 

Activity type: Knowledge-based
Target Audience: Pharmacists
Learning Level: 2

Accreditation Information


The American Pharmacists Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education. The following archived webinar is approved for 1 contact hour of CPE credit (0.10 CEUs). The ACPE Universal Activity Number for this activity is 0202-0000-20-008-H08-P

To obtain credit for completing Substance Abuse Disorders and Mental Health Disorders: How You Can Help participants will need to watch the archived webinar, complete the assessment with a grade of 70% or better, complete the evaluation questions, and then CLAIM credit. Participants need to have a valid username and password to claim credit. After credit has been claimed, please visit CPE monitor for your transcript.    

APhA continuing pharmacy education policy provides you with two opportunities to successfully complete this continuing pharmacy education assessment. Please note that you will not be permitted to submit the assessment a third time. The current policy of the APhA Education Department is not to release the correct answers to any of our CPE tests. This policy is intended to maintain the integrity of the CPE activity and the assessment.

Initial release date: April 1, 2020
Expiration date: March 19, 2023 - No credit granted after this date


Substance Abuse Disorders and Mental Health Disorders: How You Can Help is an activity for pharmacists developed by the American Pharmacists Association. © 2020 American Pharmacists Association


Dr. Jeffrey D. Gold and APhA’s editorial staff declare no conflicts of interest or financial interests in any product or service mentioned in this activity, including grants, employment, gifts, stock holdings, and honoraria. For a complete list of APhA staff disclosures, visit the APhA website at

Conflicts of interest have been resolved through content review by Helen Sairany, BA, PharmD, MBA, BCACP, Director of Content Development & Partnership at the American Pharmacists Association. 


This learning product is a component of the APhA2020 Virtual Education package and was part of APhA Pain Institute 2020.

System Requirements

Computer and internet access are required to complete this activity.  Please visit our website to view the Technology System Requirements in order to have a positive learning experience.

Credit Information

Activity Number Credit Amount Accreditation Period
ACPE# 0202-0000-20-008-H08-P 0.125 CEUs March 19, 2020 - March 19, 2023