Biological Aspects of Addiction and Recovery – SUBS 606

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/27/2021

Course Description

Substance abuse and addictive behaviors have effects on the brain and the rest of the human body. This course focuses on biological aspects of addiction including brain anatomy, neurotransmitters and other brain chemicals, predisposing biological factors, and physiological effects. These biological aspects are reviewed for each of the primary classifications of drugs of abuse and key addictive behaviors. Biological aspects of medical approaches to treatment and recovery are also considered.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.

Rationale

Skillful helping of those who struggle with substance abuse and addictive behavior (SAAB) requires counselors to understand the biological factors involved. Because the brain and other organ systems in the body are affected by SAAB, appropriate referral to other health care professionals for additional care beyond counseling is often needed. This course is intended for the student who is or soon will be counseling individuals, couples, and families struggling with substance abuse or other addictive behaviors.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Justify the importance of neurobiological factors in the etiology, maintenance, and recovery from substance use and other addictive disorders.
  2. Analyze the effects of the main classifications of substances of abuse on the brain, the body, the person, and marriages and families.
  3. Compare and contrast various models of addiction that include biological, psychological, sociological, and spiritual components.
  4. Critically evaluate various models of treatment for substance use disorders and other addictive behaviors, in part according to how the models account for biological factors in addiction.
  5. Analyze the development/current trends of addictions counseling as a profession and as a ministry in the body of Christ, with particular emphasis on biological factors.
  6. Formulate Christian worldview implications of biological aspects of addiction and recovery.
  7. Integrate relapse prevention principles and methods into a comprehensive approach to recovery that includes biological factors of addiction.
  8. Evaluate 12-step and other models of recovery according to evidence-based standards in the behavioral sciences and how well recovery models take biological factors into account.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings, video presentations, and additional materials

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (8)

Discussions are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student is required to participate in weekly discussions. Enthusiastic agreement and respectful disagreement with others in the class is expected. Disrespect (e.g., name-calling, “Bible thumping", sermonizing, hostility, etc.) will not be acceptable communication in the discussionssevere final course grade reduction will be the consequence if it occurs. Learning to accurately communicate beliefs, attitudes, and emotions about important issues is a crucial part of personal and professional development, particularly when others do not see issues the same way. Threads must be a minimum of 300 words, and replies (at least 1 per assigned module to a peer’s original thread) must be a minimum of 250 words. For each thread, the student must support his or her assertions with the instructed minimum number of citations and references in current APA format. (MLOs: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H)

Research Discussions (8)

Performing peer-reviewed/scholarly research and advancing one's knowledge of topics related to the profession of addiction counseling is a required competency. The student will present research findings weekly in a multimedia format using Bloom's Taxonomy scale of higher order thinking skills . Content will extend beyond the module topic and course materials into the peer-reviewed/scholarly research on a selected subtopic of interest. Constructive feedback and enthusiastic agreement and respectful disagreement with others in the class is expected. Disrespect (e.g., name-calling, “Bible thumping", sermonizing, hostility, etc.) will not be acceptable communication in the discussions; severe final course grade reduction will be the consequence if it occurs. Learning to accurately communicate beliefs, attitudes, and emotions about important issues is a crucial part of personal and professional development, particularly when others do not see issues the same way. Threads must be a minimum of 500 words, and replies (at least 2 per assigned module to a peer’s original thread) must be a minimum of 300 words. For each thread, the student must support his or her assertions with the instructed minimum number of citations and references in current APA format. (MLOs: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H)

Quizzes (4)

The student will complete 4 quizzes in this course. Each quiz will cover the Learn material for the module in which it is due and the preceding module. Quiz: Effective Treatment and Prevention will cover material from the module in which is is due and the 2 preceding modules. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 25 multiple-choice questions, and have a 1-hour time limit, and 3 allowed attempts . The highest score earned will be the grade received. (MLOs: A, B, C, F, G, H)