This module is designed to provide students of differing backgrounds with an understanding of the process by which international addiction health policy is formed and reformed around the use and misuse of both licit and illicit drugs. The module looks at the epidemiology of addiction around the world and the relationship between the burden of addiction and the corresponding effects of national and international drug policies.
This module is designed to provide an overview of the neuropharmacology of drugs of abuse and dependence, including basic principles of drug action as well as comprehensive coverage of the major classes of drugs (opioids, stimulants, nicotine, alcohol, sedatives, cannabis, hallucinogens). Students study mechanisms of action, effects, pharmacokinetics as well as tolerance and dependence for each of these drugs/drug classes. The reasons for addiction including biological, genetic, cultural and other determinants are discussed. Students learn about laboratory-based methods used in addiction research.
This module provides an introduction to basic concepts and research methods in Public Health and Epidemiology as they relate to the study of addictions, as well as an in-depth consideration of the personal, social, economic, and cultural burdens/costs associated with drug and alcohol abuse and dependence. Individual and community-based risk and protective factors related to addictions and primary and secondary prevention efforts aimed at reducing the addictions-related public health burden are also a focus. An online lecture format featuring presentations by leading researchers and policymakers in the field of addictions is used, along with readings, online discussions, and writing assignments, to (a) gain a greater understanding of the enormous costs of addictions at every level of society, and (b) introduce students to some of the current thinking and programs related to the primary and secondary prevention of addictions.
This module is designed to allow students to participate in the research process. Students are given the opportunity to complete a small research project under supervision. The submitted written text will be a minimum of 10,000 words in length, and is required to demonstrate a critical knowledge of the chosen topic area. The ability to apply scientific scrutiny to a topic related to aspects of drug and alcohol aetiology, treatment, prevention, public health or policy as identified by the programme team is required. The research project may involve original data collection, secondary analysis of previously collected data sets, or other quantitative or qualitative research methods. The necessary defining feature is that the research project should demonstrate an appropriate level of academic rigor and understanding of the scientific implications of the findings of the project. Students need to demonstrate competence in the integration and analysis of data to further the translation of this knowledge into more effective policies and practices, in keeping with the stated aims of the programme.
This module is designed to enable students to gain advanced understanding of the critical issues involved in the identification, recruitment, assessment, diagnosis and classification of individuals who misuse substances. Local, national and international barriers to treatment (stigma, culture, religion, politics, legal issues, civil commitment, cost, attitudes and beliefs) are considered. Students explore and critically examine treatment options in special settings (for instance, prisons and the workplace) and in special populations (for instance, addicted healthcare professional, co-morbid patients, pregnancy).
This module is designed to provide an overview of the pharmacological management of alcohol and drug addiction. It covers the management of withdrawal from alcohol, sedatives, opioids, cannabis and stimulants as well as long term management of dependence on opioids, tobacco and alcohol. Additional topics include international perspectives on management of dependence, management of dependence during pregnancy and the process of medication development.
This module is designed to explore the scientific basis and treatment of substance misuse from a psychological perspective germane to the management of drug, alcohol and nicotine dependence. Students have the opportunity to evaluate the principles of different theoretical approaches underlying psychological assessment and evidence-based practice. During this module students develop a critical awareness of the current literature related to psychological theories of addiction. Students examine the use and comparative efficacy of different psychological therapies in clinical practice including brief interventions, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Motivational Interviewing /MET. Other interventions (case management, group work, self help, integrated treatment for co-occurring disorders etc) are also examined alongside the evidence base for Relapse Prevention, Contingency Management and Therapeutic Communities. Finally, students have the opportunity to explore psychological approaches used with specialist populations such as young people and adolescents.