CHD440 Drugs, Values and Society

Lead Faculty: Dr. Nicole Polen-Petit

Course Description

An examination of the history of substance use and abuse in the United States. Examines individual and institutional values that underpin chemically dependent behavior as well as socio-cultural factors, including media images, consumer product advertising, myths and stereotypes and subculture/life-style issues. Provides an overview of the social services structure, including outreach, education, prevention and treatment models.

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify the historical/cultural changes in the United States that have affected the use and misuse of drugs.
  • Describe the physiology and pharmacology of drug action.
  • Recall the basic characteristics and explain the use and abuse of the major psychoactive drugs: alcohol, stimulants, cannabis, nicotine, hallucinogens, inhalants, opiates, and depressants.
  • Compare the similarities and differences between the major approaches to the treatment of chemical dependency.
  • Describe the influence of the media and cultural mores on drug use and abuse.
  • Evaluate the relative effectiveness of current drug laws, drug education programs, and drug prevention programs.