Pharmacology of Addiction and Recovery – ADCN 606

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

This course focuses on the pharmacological aspects of addiction and recovery and how addiction affects the physical, emotional, social, and spiritual aspects of the person. In addition to the addictive nature and properties of various substances and behaviors, pharmacological treatment approaches to withdrawal, treatment, recovery, and relapse prevention are also reviewed.


(CEFS 501 or MAAC 501 or COUN 501) and (CEFS 510 or MAAC 510 or COUN 510) and (CEFS 691 or COUN 691) and (ADCN 505 or MAAC 505)


In an effort to develop skilled Christian addiction counselors, through this course, counselors-in-training will gain knowledge in addictions pharmacology. The student will be able to recall an integrated biblical worldview in the field of pharmacology. This is imperative in meeting the core curricular programmatic standards and for licensure and certification.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Recall the basic principles of pharmacology including neurobiology, pharmacokinetics, and pharmacodynamics associated with addictions counseling.
  2. Construct the processes of tolerance, withdrawal, and toxicity associated with addiction counseling.
  3. Classify the pharmacological properties of differing drugs associated with abuse and dependence and associated pharmacological treatments for addiction and recovery.
  4. Identify the pharmacology of process addictions and associated pharmacological treatments.
  5. Recognize a biblical worldview in pharmacology of addictions counseling.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (4)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to provide an initial thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. The initial thread must be a 300–400 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge applicable to the DB prompt. For DB Forum 2, the initial video thread must be 3–5 minutes. The initial post must include the use of at least two citations (textbook, assigned readings such as journal articles or other source). The citations need to be peer-reviewed unless noted in the specific discussion board prompts. The use of APA intext citations and references are expected.

The student is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ thread. Each reply must be 150–200 words. At least 1 citation is required. This could include the course textbook, assigned journal articles, etc. The use of APA intext citations and references are expected.Additionally, discussion board posts and replies may require a biblical lens integrated within the student’s initial and/or reply to a classmate. When providing a response biblically, it is important to cite specific scripture or textbooks (such as systematic theology or Christian counseling) to support claims.See DB rubric in Blackboard for further details and guidance.

Practitioner Interview

The student will contact a practicing addiction counselor, preferable in their area. The student will interview the practitioner for at least 30 minutes (in-person or via the phone but preferable in-person) and write a 2–3-page paper. The interview will cover the practice of pharmacology in addiction counseling. See instructions/rubric in Blackboard for further details and guidance.

Pharmacological Analysis

For the pharmacological analysis, the student will identify an illicit drug from the textbook and, in 4–6 pages, provide the pharmacological properties of the identified illicit drug as well as current treatment strategies. It is a different illicit drug than the case study below.

See assignment instructions/rubric in Blackboard for further details and guidance.

Case Study

The student will identify a character in a movie, TV show or other media where sufficient details are available to attend to each aspect of the rubric. In 4–6 pages, the student will offer a background/assessment of the identified character, a pharmacological case conceptualization of the client’s presenting problem, and develop a pharmacological treatment plan for the identified character.

See assignment instructions/rubric in Blackboard for further details and guidance.

Quizzes (8)

Each quiz will cover the Reading & Study material for the assigned module(s)/week(s). Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 10 multiple-choice and true or false questions, and have a 40-minute time limit. The student will have 3 attempts to get the highest grade. The quiz uses a test bank and each attempt may have different quiz items. The quizzes are cumulative; e.g., quiz 2 may have test questions from quiz 1.