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PSY 454: Psychology of Addiction

Course Description

This course will investigate a broad range of addictions including psychoactive substances (eg., alcohol, opioids, stimulants, etc.) and process addictions (eg., gambling, internet gaming). The complex biopsychosocial disease process of addiction will be investigated. There will be emphasis on the physiological brain responses and health consequences of substance use disorders. Students will learn how to apply the criteria for diagnosis of substance use disorders and distinguish between substance use disorders and other compulsive behaviors, such as binge-eating disorder and trichotillomania. (3 credits)

Prerequisites

  • PSY 101: Psychology
  • ENG 101: English Composition 1
  • ENG 102: English Composition 2

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  1. Apply critical thinking skills in psychology and particularly in the assessment of drug regulation, popular media reports, and personal ideas related to addiction, treatment and recovery.
  2. Explain the major risk factors for developing an SUD.
  3. Evaluate the similarities and differences among psychoactive substance addiction, process addictions, obsessive-compulsive disorders, and feeding and eating related disorders.
  4. Apply principles of pharmacokinetics, homeostasis, and allostasis to psychoactive substance and process addictions.
  5. Explain the process by which multiple drugs (including alcohol, benzodiazepines, opioids, cocaine, methamphetamine, nicotine, hallucinogens, inhalants, and new psychoactive substances) of abuse disrupt neurotransmission.
  6. Analyze a neuron, list the neurotransmitters implicated in addiction, and identify brain regions most implicated in addictive disorders.
  7. Compare the roles of the primitive brain structures to the neocortex in the development of addiction and the treatment of addiction.
  8. Apply the diagnostic criteria of the DSM5 to case studies of clients with substance use disorders.
  9. Apply APA formatting/styles.

General Education Outcomes (GEOs)

Please check the applicable GEOs for this course, if any, by outcomes at GEO Category Search, or by subject area at GEO Discipline Search.

Course Activities and Grading

Assignments

Weight

Discussions (Week 1-8)

30%

Writing Assignments

20%

Quizzes

20%

Research Paper

30%

Total

100%

Required Textbook

Available through https://bookstore.mbsdirect.net/vbm/vb_home.php?FVCUSNO=35478
  • Maisto, S and M. Galizio (2015). Drug Use and Abuse. 8th ed. Cengage. ISBN-13: 978-1-337-40897-4

Additional Resources

Course Schedule

Week

SLOs

Readings and Exercises

Assignments

1

5,7,10

Topic: What do we mean by addiction?

  • Readings:
    • Drug Use and Abuse - Ch. 1 & 2
    • First quarter of memoir
  • Read assigned material
  • Participate in Discussions
  • Review lecture material
  • Submit reflection assignment

2

2,4,7

Topics: Homeostatis, Allostasis, Pharmacokinetics & Neuropsychology of addiction

  • Readings:
    • Drug Use and Abuse - Ch. 3-5
    • Selected articles available in the course
    • Continue reading memoir
  • Read assigned material
  • Participate in Discussions
  • Review lecture material
  • View Youtube videos
  • Complete quiz

3

1,3,4,6,11

Topics: Theories of Addiction, Depressants: Benzodiazepines & Alcohol

  • Readings:
    • Drug Use and Abuse - Ch. 9 & 13
    • Selected articles available in the course
    • Continue reading memoir
  • Read assigned material
  • Participate in Discussions
  • Review lecture material
  • View Youtube videos
  • Submit reflection assignment

4

1,3,4,11

Topics: Opiates / Opioids & Medication Assisted Treatment

  • Readings:
    • Drug Use and Abuse - Ch. 10
    • Selected articles available in the course
    • Continue reading memoir
  • Read assigned material
  • Participate in Discussions
  • Review lecture material
  • View Youtube videos
  • Complete quiz

5

1,3,4,8,9,11

Topics: Stimulants: Cocaine, Methamphetamine & Nicotine

  • Readings:
    • Drug Use and Abuse - Ch. 6 & 7
  • Read assigned material
  • Participate in Discussions
  • Review lecture material
  • Submit research paper draft
  • Complete quiz

6

1,2,5,7,11

Topics: Binge - Eating Disorder, Pica, Hoarding & Trichotillomania

  • Readings:
    • DSM-5 - Binge-Eating Disorder, Pica, Hoarding & Trichotillomania
  • Read assigned material
  • Participate in Discussions
  • Review lecture material
  • View Youtube videos
  • Listen to NPR broadcasts
  • Submit reflection assignment

7

1,2,5,11

Topics: Process Addictions: Gambling & Internet Gaming Disorder

  • Readings:
    • DSM-5 - Gambling Disorder
    • Selected articles available in the course
  • Read assigned material
  • Participate in Discussions
  • Review lecture material
  • View Youtube videos
  • Listen to NPR broadcasts
  • Submit reflection assignment

8

1,5,7,8,9

Topic: Marijuana, Synthetics, Inhalants & Designer Drugs

  • Readings:
    • Drug Use and Abuse - Ch.11,12 & 14
    • Selected articles available in the course
  • Read assigned material
  • Participate in Discussions
  • Review lecture material
  • View Youtube videos
  • Listen to NPR broadcasts
  • Submit research paper

COSC Accessibility Statement

Charter Oak State College encourages students with disabilities, including non-visible disabilities such as chronic diseases, learning disabilities, head injury, attention deficit/hyperactive disorder, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services at OAS@charteroak.edu.

COSC Policies, Course Policies, Academic Support Services and Resources

Students are responsible for knowing all Charter Oak State College (COSC) institutional policies, course-specific policies, procedures, and available academic support services and resources. Please see COSC Policies for COSC institutional policies, and see also specific policies related to this course. See COSC Resources for information regarding available academic support services and resources.