Overview of Theory and Treatment of Substance Abuse – PSYC 305

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

Course Description

This course includes a thorough examination of the theoretical models of addiction, the introduction to the neurobiology of addiction, the addiction cycle, the evaluation and treatment of addictions, and the trauma that occurs with addictions.


(PSYC 101 or PSYC 210 or SOCI 201) and PSYC 255


This course is designed to equip the student with the theoretical basis of addictions and the ability to clinically assess and diagnose individuals with substance related problems. In addition, the student will be introduced to the neurobiology of addiction and gain an understanding of treatment options and the psychopharmacology of drugs. Finally, he/she will be able to identify the dually-diagnosed client and make appropriate treatment recommendations for the client with substance-related problems.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Discuss the theoretical concepts of addiction.
  2. Identify current theories and terminology associated with addiction.
  3. Describe the pharmacology of drugs and addiction.
  4. List clinical features of addiction.
  5. Evaluate evidence of use, abuse, and addiction, and make an appropriate referral.
  6. Recognize features of co-occurring disorders.

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 (5)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to create a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. Each thread must be a minimum of 200 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. In addition to the thread, the student is required to reply to 1 other classmate’s thread. Each reply must be a minimum of 100 words. In preparation for Discussion Board Forum 3, the student will attend a 12-step meeting and discuss his/her experience with classmates. The 12-Step Meeting Selection assignment will prepare the student for this Discussion Board Forum.

12-Step Meeting Selection

The student will write 1 paragraph explaining what type of meeting he/she will attend and why this particular group was chosen.

Community Support PowerPoint/Pamphlet

The student will create either a PowerPoint presentation or a pamphlet to be used in presenting to a community or church group in order to solicit support for substance abuse/addiction treatment. The assignment must include at least 1–2 sources in current APA format. The PowerPoint presentation must contain 8–10 slides and include a script for each slide. The pamphlet must be bi-fold or tri-fold and use both sides of the paper.

Addiction Paper

The student will write a 3–5-page research-based paper in current APA format that focuses on a specific addiction. The paper must include at least 3 outside sources that are from current, professional (peer-reviewed) journals and have been published in the last 5 years.

Case Study Assessment Paper

The student will thoroughly assess one of the individuals from the case histories provided and write a 6–8-page paper on the topic. The assessment must address the spiritual, genetic, and psychosocial aspects of the individual’s behavior. The student must incorporate what has been learned in the course into this assessment. The paper must be in current APA format; a title page and reference page must be included. The student must include references to at least 3 presentations from the course as well as references to 3–4 additional items from the Reading & Study material to support all assertions.

Tests (4)

Each test will cover the Reading & Study material for the assigned modules/weeks. Each test will be open-book/open-notes, contain 25 multiple-choice questions, and have a 50-minute time limit.