Addiction Education: Essential to Improving Health Outcomes

Many corporations, state agencies, and community-based organizations already educate about diseases such as cancer and heart disease, emphasizing the importance of early screening and treatment. Recently, mental health education has also been introduced given the broad impact of this disease.

Tragically, addiction education has been slow to be included. Nearly 10% of adults have a substance use disorder (addiction) and another 15% have an immediate family member with the disease. Overdoses have reached record levels in the United States. The impact on families and the country is enormous. Addiction education is vital for improved public health outcomes.

What’s in the program?

The program includes six essential lessons around addiction.

The Science of Addiction – Addiction is not a choice, or a character flaw. It is a medical condition that changes the brain.

Are You at Risk? – Vulnerability for addiction varies from person to person. Science points to three key risk factors: genetics, age of first use, and environment.

The Dangers of Opioids – Everyone needs to understand the basics of what opioids are, how they work, and the risks of use.

Signs, Symptoms & Treatment – Take the 1-minute gold standard quiz to determine if you or a loved one has a substance use issue.

How You Can Help – It can be overwhelming to know how to help and where to start when someone you care about is struggling with addiction.

The Gift of Recovery – Recovery from addiction transforms one’s life and the lives of those around them.

Return on Investment

The Addiction Education series has shown statistically significant impact in changes for learners in understanding the most important addiction concepts. There is a 41% improvement in learners knowing how to help, a 32% change in confidence in recognizing the signs and symptoms, a 30% increase in knowledge about how to reduce the risks and a 20% reduction in stigma related measures.

As an example, an organization working in the Education, Health or Social Services area with 500 employees would see an annual impact of substance misuse of $350,000 in lost time, job turnover/retraining and healthcare costs. Nearly 20% of their employees are impacted with either an addiction problem themselves or worried about dependents or another family member. Promoting education promotes recovery. Each employee who recovers from a substance use disorder saves a company over $8500 on average a year.

Tackle the basics of addiction education with the Addiction: Six Essential Lessons series

The Addiction Education: Six Essential Lessons series from Shatterproof is a 6-course curriculum that focuses on increasing awareness, reducing stigma, and sharing critical information about addiction and prevention. We seek to capture a learners’ attention to foster changes in attitudes and awareness around addiction. Each lesson provides a few action items and printable job aides so it’s easier than ever for learner to absorb and apply the information contained.

About the Author

Shatterproof is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to reversing the addiction crisis in the United States. Shatterproof harnesses the models of business, the rigor of science and the power of a national movement to create change and save lives through three pillars of work: revolutionizing the addiction treatment system, breaking down addiction-related stigmas and supporting and empowering our communities. To learn more visit