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Treating Patients With Co-occurring Autism Spectrum Disorder and Substance Use Disorder-A Clinical Explorative Study

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About the Course

The course examines the prevalence and treatment of patients with co-occurring Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Substance Use Disorder (SUD). It is a small study with 4 participants. There is reason to suspect that SUD is more prevalent in this population than previously thought. Clinical supervision and the adaptation of treatment to the individual patient’s level of functioning is key. The number of sessions to treat this population will need to be extended. The treatment of SUD in ASD patients is complex, and requires high degree of psychoeducation in the ASD diagnosis as well as ASD. It is NOT recommended that therapist treat SUD in the population without previous clinical experience in the treatment of patients with ASD.

This course is based on the reading-based online article, Treating Patients With Co-occurring Autism Spectrum Disorder and Substance Use Disorder-A Clinical Explorative Study created by Sissel Berge Helverschou, PhD, Anette Ræder Brunvold, PhD, and Espen Ajo Arnevik, PhD in 2019.

Publication Date:


Course Material Authors

Course Material Authors authored the material only, and were not involved in creating this CE course. They are identified here for your own evaluation of the relevancy of the material this course is based on.

Sissel Berge Helverschou, PhD

Sissel Berge Helverschou, PhD, psychologist specializing in habilitation, and employed as a researcher at the National Competence Unit for Autism, Oslo University Hospital. She has broad clinical experience from working with people with autism spectrum disorders, and has published several scientific articles and book chapters. In recent years she has mainly conducted research and professional development in relation to the mental disorders of people with autism both in people with learning disabilities and in people with Asperger syndrome.

Anette Ræder Brunvold, PhD

Anette is an experienced clinical psychologist with a focus on psychological work with drugs and dependence .

Espen Ajo Arnevik, PhD

Dr. Arnevik is a clinical psychologist at Oslo University Hospital and the Leader for Section for clinical addiction research. He has focused on substance use disorder treatment and has been published in multiple peer reviewed journals.

Course Creator

Sandi Cardaman
Sandi Cardaman has been a Licensed Mental Health Counselor for more than 15 years. She has worked with eating disorders, domestic violence and clients who are working with the dependency system.

Recommended For:

Counselors, marriage and family therapists, psychologists and social workers. This course is appropriate for all levels of knowledge.

Course Objectives:

After taking this course, you should be able to:

  1. Acknowledge the prevalence of SUD in the ASD population is likely higher than previously thought.
  2. Identify the necessary modifications to treatment to effectively serve this population.
  3. Rocognize that CBT can be an effective therapy to treat SUD in clients with ASD.

Disclosure to Learners

Disclosure of Relevant Financial Relationships

CE Learning Systems adheres to the ACCME's Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Medical Education. Any individuals in a position to control the content of a CE activity – including faculty, planners, reviewers, or others ― are required to disclose all relevant financial relationships with ineligible entities (formerly known as commercial interests).

The following relevant financial relationships have been disclosed by this activity's planners, faculty, and the reviewer:

Planners and Reviewers

The planners of this activity have reported that they have no relevant financial relationships.

Commercial support

There is no commercial support for this distance-learning course.

Exam Questions

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Course Retired
Course Number 102602
1.25 CE credit hour
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  • Reading-Based Online
Exam Fee $7.46
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