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PSY 454: Psychology of Addiction

Course Description

This course will investigate a broad range of addictive disorder including drugs, alcohol, and gambling as well as other problematic repetitive behaviors (e.g., internet use, binge eating, hoarding). We will investigate the complex biopsychosocial disease process of addiction. There will be emphasis on the physiological brain responses and health consequences.

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. Articulate the problems with the term "addiction", especially as applied to non-substance related behavioral disorders.
  2. Discuss the similarities and differences among psychoactive substance addiction, and "process" addictions.
  3. 3. Apply principles of pharmacokinetics, homeostasis, and allostasis to understanding psychoactive substance and process addictions.
  4. Explain the process by which multiple drugs (including alcohol, benzodiazepines, opiates/opioids, cocaine, methamphetamine, nicotine, hallucinogens, and designer drugs) of abuse disrupt neurotransmission and the disruption and dysregulation of neurotransmission relative to process addictions, diagram a neuron, and list the neurotransmitters implicated in addiction and identify brain regions most implicated in addictive disorders.
  5. Possess a rudimentary understanding of the DSM5 and how to apply criteria for diagnoses as well as recognize the continuum of the disease process.
  6. Compare the roles of the primitive brain structures to the neocortex in the development of addiction and the treatment of addiction.
  7. Evaluate the strengths and deficits of various models of addiction including moral and biopsychosocial disease models; consider historic and legal contexts.
  8. Analyze and synthesize peer reviewed articles.
  9. Write in compliance with the APA Style Guide.
  10. Articulate what it means to possess a scientific attitude and apply critical thinking skills in psychology.
  11. Categorize accurately: specific Substance Related and Addictive Disorders, Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders, and Binge Eating Disorder and Pica.

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%

Reflection Assignments (Weeks 1, 3, 6 & 7)

25%

Quizzes (Weeks 2, 4 & 5)

20%

Research Paper (Week 8)

25%

Total

100%

Required Textbooks

Available through Charter Oak's online bookstore

  • Maisto, S and M. Galizio (2015). Drug Use and Abuse. 7th ed. Cengage. ISBN-13: 9781285455518
  • American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Desk reference to diagnostic criteria from DSM-5. Washington, DC: Author. ISBN-13: 978-0890425565
  • Brezenski, M. (2013). Obsessed: America’s food addiction and my own. New York: Weinstein Books. 978-1602861763

Additional Requirement

  • Week 1 assignment: Students will attend an open 12-Step Self-Help meeting. Examples: Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, Gamblers Anonymous, Cocaine Anonymous. Choice of a different type of self-help meeting should be discussed with the professor in advance. Students should view assignment details (located in the Course Content section) prior to going.

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.