Course Syllabus

ADC304: Psychopharmacology of Addiction

Instructor & Contact Information

The People tab in Canvas provides information on the course instructor and you can send a message to your instructor following these instructions. Faculty are expected to: 1) grade and return assignments, with feedback, within 7 days from the date of submission; 2) reply to your Canvas messages within 72 hours; 3) reply several times each week in total  in the discussion forums (not to each individual student); and 4) demonstrate the core values of City Vision University.

Course Description

This course serves as an overview of the chemicals that are commonly being misused in our current society.  It will address the classes of drugs and the effect of each class of drug. It will discuss the common methods of administration, the speed of transmission to the brain and the neurological impact on the brain. There will also be a brief look at the treatment continuum of care. 

Course Goal

The student will have an enhanced understanding of what chemicals are commonly abused; the effects of chemicals on the body, and current trends and the addictive nature of chemicals.  Students will learn the general effects of psychoactive substances such as stimulants, depressants, and opiates. Students will understand these drugs in the context of their classification, and history of use, misuse and addiction. Patterns of drug use will be examined starting from the effects of drugs on babies in the womb, to youth and adolescent use, to adult workplace and military use, and finally to use and misuse patterns of the elderly. Treatment principles, options and effectiveness will also be examined in light of these patterns of use, as well as drug-specific treatments.

Course Objectives

After completing this course, students will:

  1. Learn how psychoactive drugs are classified.
  2. Gain historical perspective on drug use, misuse, taxation and regulation.
  3. Understand how the brain processes psychoactive drugs.  
  4. Review theories of addiction and how heredity and environment impact addictive behavior.
  5. Learn the general effects of psychoactive stimulants, depressants and other drugs of abuse.
  6. Learn how compulsive and addictive behaviors affect the brain’s reward pathways in much the same way as drugs.
  7. Learn prevention concepts and methods as they have developed through history.
  8. Understand the principles and goals of effective treatment.
  9. Review drug specific treatment and treatment for specific populations.

Degree Program Outcomes

Program outcomes are the overall skills and knowledge we expect you will have after successfully completing a certificate or degree program at City Vision University. This course supports the following program outcomes, marked with an asterisk (*). After completing the program, City Vision’s graduates will be able to do the following:

  1. Christian Integration. Integrate Christian principles and counseling theories in an ethical manner in both Christian and secular counseling environments.
  2. Certification Exam Prep. Identify the key concepts needed to take a licensure exam either to apply to be a peer support specialist or certified addiction counselor.
  3. Case Management. Develop case management plans to help clients identify areas where they need help and connecting them with personal and community resources that will help them.
  4. Chemical Dependency. Describe foundational concepts of chemical dependency including a range of psychoactive drugs and how they work.*
  5. Psychology. Describe the foundational concepts of psychology and apply that in both Christian and secular counseling environments.
  6. Clinical Counseling Skills. Utilize foundational skills for clinical addiction counseling.
  7. Multicultural Counseling. Utilize effective methods to counsel diverse clients in both Christian and secular counseling environments.
  8. Specialized Skills. Apply knowledge and skills in specialized domains related to Addiction Counseling.

Required Texts

Students are required to purchase these texts before the first day of classes. 

  • Inaba, D. & Cohen, W. (2014). Uppers, Downers and All Arounders, 8th Ed. Medford, OR: CNS Productions, Inc. Ebook Edition. Note: students that choose not to rent the book may purchase the 7th edition if preferred.
  • Other reading materials will be provided in digital format throughout the course.

Guidelines for Written Work

All written work must follow our Writing Format and Forum Requirements. You must read these to understand how to cite sources appropriately.

Critical Policies to Read for This Course

Note: These policies are critical for all students to read. In case of change, we have linked to the versions on our website to make sure you have the latest version.

This syllabus is subject to change without notice up until the first day of the semester. Last updated: December 15, 2021

Course Summary:

Date Details Due