PA Student SUD Guide

In the news, on the streets, and in the exam room, substance use disorder (SUD) is a public health crisis with an enormous cost. No matter what specialty you choose, you will be a witness to this epidemic afflicting communities across our country. Prepare yourself for treating patients with SUD using the free video resources below.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Background on the current SUD epidemic
  • How PAs interact with SUD patients
  • Barriers to treatment, such as stigma and fear
  • How to build trust and rapport with patients
  • What motivates patients to seek help
  • Why it’s important for every PA to be prepared to treat patients with SUD

This curriculum also includes a comprehensive resource section for those wishing to pursue additional training or learn more about SUD prevention, treatment, and recovery.


This guide includes five videos from sessions recorded at the PA Student SUD Symposium during AAPA 2019 in Denver. Test your comprehension with an optional quiz at the end of most videos. Inspired to learn more? Scroll down for additional resources on SUD prevention, treatment, and recovery.

Additional Resources

Questions about this guide? Contact the PA Foundation.

The PA Foundation produced and is solely responsible for the content of this program. This project was funded in part with federal funds from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under Contract No. HHSN271201700059C. The views expressed in these materials and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. government.

Video content was recorded at AAPA 2019 in Denver on May 18, 2019. Special thanks to the presenters and the coordinating team of the PA Foundation: Joanna Weston, MPH, project manager; Caroline Pierce, communications and program manager; Lynette Sappe-Watkins, CFRE, executive director.