The primary methods of instruction will be lecture and seminar. The course will also involve group activities, presentations, audiovisual media and guest lectures.
- Neuronal structure and function
- Neurotransmitters and receptors
- Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics
- Biology of psychological disorders
- Sedative hypnotics, anxiolytics and alcohol
- Psychostimulants, antidepressants and mood stabilizers
- Marijuana, hallucinogens, dissociative anaesthetics and inhalants
- Antipsychotics and anticholinergics
- Natural health products
- Theories of substance use, abuse, and dependence
- Harm reduction approaches to substance abuse
Upon completion of the course, the student will be able to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of basic neural structure and function, with a particular focus on cellular level events such as neurotransmission.
- Describe and demonstrate critical thinking regarding the societal and political factors that define the legal status and social acceptability of various drugs.
- Identify the basic mechanisms of drug effects, including routes of administration, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and impacts on neurophysiology.
- Identify the major classes of psychotropic drugs and describe their mode of action, effects and side effects.
- Explain the relationship between the mechanism of a drug and its use for recreational, circumstantial, or therapeutic purposes.
- Identify the major categories of therapeutic drugs and their relationship to psychological disorders.
- Analyze and critique theories of psychotropic drug use, abuse, and dependence within a biopsychosocial framework.
- Access and synthesize findings from drug research including explorations of pharmacodynamic mechanism, clinical trials and metanalyses of treatment efficacy.
Evaluation will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy. Evaluation will be based on course objectives. The instructor will provide a written course outline with specific evaluation criteria at the beginning of semester.
An example of a possible evaluation scheme is as follows:
Reading quizzes - 5%
Research paper - 20%
Presentation - 15%
Exams - 3 at 20% each - 60%
Total - 100%
Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students:
Texts will be updated periodically. Examples of appropriate texts:
- Meyer, J.S. & Quenzer, L.F. Drugs, the Brain, and Behavior. (current ed.) Oxford University Press.
- Hart, C.L., Ksir, C.J., Hebb, A., Gilbert, R., & Black, S. Drugs, Behaviour, and Society. (current Canadian ed.) McGraw-Hil Ryersonl.
Courses listed here are equivalent to this course and cannot be taken for further credit:
- No equivalency courses