The Neurobiology and Genesis of Substance Use Disorders

In the midst of the opioid crisis, we are perplexed about how we got here and how we move forward. This program will explore the evolution and neurobiology of substance use disorders, as well as effective evidence based treatments.


9 AM – 12:00 PM  |  The Genesis of Substance Use Disorders and Stigma Presenter: Edward Bilotti, MD

Why do we become addicted?  Why are our brains wired with a “reward” system?  What could possibly be the evolutionary advantage of having brains that can become dependent on substances that can and do kill us?  Is addiction really a disease? 

What is it about “human nature” that makes us dislike “addicts,” tending to view and treat them with disdain? Why do people with addictions lie to people close to them and deceive the very people trying to help them?

In this unconventional presentation, Dr. Bilotti draws from the diverse fields of evolutionary psychology, biology, anthropology, and even botany, to help find answers to these and other questions. In an interactive fashion, we will seek to evoke thought and discussion, and expand ways of thinking about addiction and mental illness and the people who struggle with them. Ultimately, the goal is to be able to provide better help through better understanding.   

1:00 PM – 4:00 PM  |  The Neurobiology of Addiction and Medication Assisted Treatment | Presenter: Jonathan C. Fellers, MD, FAPA

Communities are facing an increased demand for effective evidence based treatments. This portion of program will explore the neurobiology of OUD and EBPs of the use of methadone, buprenorphine, and naltrexone with psychosocial treatment and the evidence behind their use as well as the practical issues regarding implementation. Such issues about how to engage with people who are still using substances, how to assess and treat co-occurring issues, how to work as a team, what urine tests really tell you and more. Dr. Fellers, who heads up the MaineHealth IMAT program, will share his expertise and knowledge. Whether you’ve been utilizing MAT for years or you’re just beginning to look at issues, this program will provide you with valuable information. 


Edward J. Bilotti, MD, has over 20 years of practice experience. He specializes in treating patients with mental health disorders and addictions. His particular clinical interests are in medication-assisted treatment of opiate use disorders, co-occurring disorders, and affective disorders. Dr. Bilotti is Clinical Asst. Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine and he is Board-Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. 

Jonathan C. Fellers, MD, FAPA, received his Bachelor of Science from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his Degree in Medicine from Cornell University Medical College. He completed his psychiatry residency at University of Virginia where he served as Chief Resident in 2013. He completed a fellowship in Addiction Psychiatry at the Oregon Health and Science University and his postdoctoral fellowship at the MIRECC Portland VA Health Care System. Dr. Fellers is an Assistant Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine and is Co-Occurring Service Lead for MMC Department of Psychiatry, Director, Integrated Medication-Assisted Treatment, MMC/MMP and Medical Director, Maine Tobacco Help Line.


  • 5.5 contact hours for nurses.
    CCSME Provider Unit is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the Northeast Multi-State Division (NE-MSD), an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.
    Accreditation status does not imply endorsement by ANCC, NE-MSD or CCSME Provider Unit.

  • 5.5 Category I contact hours for Psychologists are provided.
    CCSME is a pre-approved sponsor and provider of Professional Education Activities for Psychologists.

  • 5.5 contact hours for CHES.
    CCSME is a designated provider of continuing education contact hours (CECH) in health education by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc.

  • Certificate of attendance for 5.5 contact hours for social workers, licensed clinical professional counselors, and other professionals.

  • The Maine Medical Education Trust designates this live activity for a maximum of 5.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Maine Medical Education Trust is accredited by the Maine Medical Association’s Committee on Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education (CME) to practicing physicians. This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the Essentials and Standards of the Maine Medical Association Committee on Continuing Medical Education and Accreditation through the partnership of Maine Medical Education Trust and CCSME. The Maine Medical Education Trust is accredited by the Maine Medical Association to provide CME activities for physicians.

Certificates will be emailed to participants upon completion of an online course evaluation. 


Check-in will begin at 8:30 a.m. The program begins at 9:00 a.m.

Lunch will be on your own.

Printable Registration Form

Refunds and Other Policies