ADCL235C: Physiology and Pharmacology of Addiction

Addiction Counseling
Credits 3 Lab/Practicum/Clinical Hours 0 Lecture Hours 3
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An in-depth study of psychopharmacological aspects of drugs is covered including a study of brain and body drug metabolism, medical complications, and the treatment of psychiatric disorders as outlined in the most current edition of the DSM.


Students are required to pass prerequisite courses with a grade of C or higher. Exceptions apply; please consult your department chair.
  • Discuss the biopsychosocial, medical, and metabolic effects of alcohol and other drugs on the human body and brain.
  • Describe the evolving process by which the brain becomes addicted.
  • Understand the reward pathway in the brain.
  • Describe the DSM, its purpose, and usefulness in the treatment of substance use and other disorders.
  • Provide an overview of drugs that may be prescribed for treating a specific disorder.
  • Provide an overview of the specific action, effect, and psychopharmacological aspects of drugs upon a patient and their disorder to include precautions and considerations that may need to be taken when drugs are prescribed.
  • Provide an overview of non-drug means of treating a DSM disorder.
  • Provide an overview of harm reduction principles.
  • Provide an overview of self-help and mutual support groups.