PHARM 7517EX - Treatment of Addiction: Pharmacotherapies

External - Semester 1 - 2020

This course is designed to provide an overview of the pharmacological management of alcohol and drug addiction. It will cover 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.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PHARM 7517EX
    Course Treatment of Addiction: Pharmacotherapies
    Coordinating Unit Medical Sciences
    Term Semester 1
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s External
    Units 4
    Contact Online
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Restrictions Available for non-Award study after consultation with Program Director (students need to enrol at VCU and meet GradCert in International Addiction Studies entry criteria).
    Course Description This course is designed to provide an overview of the pharmacological management of alcohol and drug addiction. It will cover 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.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Andrea Gordon

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    This course is a component of the International Program of Addiction Studies provided by the University of Adelaide in collaboration with Kings College London (UK) and Virginia Commonwealth University (USA). Courses are offered on a modified semester schedule. This course is scheduled to commence in the first week of February, and run over 14 weeks with 4 one-week study breaks and concluding with an exam.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    At the end of this topic you should be able to demonstrate an understanding of:

    1. The current possible approaches to treatment of drug problems, service delivery issues and future directions.

    2. The major manifestations and treatment of withdrawal of: alcohol, sedatives, opioids, cannabis and stimulants.

    3. The treatment options and long-term management for: opioid dependence, tobacco dependence, alcohol dependence.

    4. International perspectives on treatment of opioid dependence.

    5. The treatment options for addiction and dependence during pregnancy.

    Skills and Attitudes

    You will be expected to develop and/or enhance your:

    6. Competence in critical evaluation and interpretation of the existing literature on treatment of drug dependence and management of drug related problems.

    7. Ability to effectively synthesize information and ideas in relation to approaches to management of problems related to drug use.

    8. Academic writing skills.

    9. Ability to effectively use online resources available in the drug and alcohol field.

    10. Ability to effectively communicate your intellectual curiosity and knowledge to others in an online discussion.

    11. Ability to manage effectively the allocation of time in performing tasks.

    12. Commitment to continuous learning.

    13. Awareness of ethical, social and cultural issues and their importance in the exercise of your professional and student responsibilities.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    All required resources will be available online, usually through the libraries of the three universities involved in the program.
    Recommended Resources
    Information on recommended resources will be provided online, usually as links to online material.
    Online Learning
    This course is provided totally online. The International Program in Addiction Studies is currently hosted by Virginia Commonwealth University. Course materials are provided on the VCU equivalent of MyUni (MyVCU).
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    The online delivery offers flexibility, but students are encouraged to go through the work at the same pace so as to make best use of the online discussion.

    The course is provided as a series of topics. Each study topic comprises:
    • a topic outline describing the components and learning objectives;
    • a concept lecture (or lectures);
    • essential and additional readings;
    • a quiz to test your understanding (not graded); and
    • a discussion forum.

    The discussion forum is used to clarify any issues, practise writing and professional discussions (e.g. using references) and to share experiences. It is not a chat room, but more resembles an open panel discussion. In some courses, depending on interest of the students, wikis or other interactive tools may be used to increase collaboration further.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The expected work load for the course is 20 hours a week. This will be spent on reviewing the video and reading material, doing the revision quizzes, engaging in discussion and preparing for the assessments.
    Learning Activities Summary
    The following topics will be taught:
    • Recovery: what does a patient want and what options do we have?
    • Introduction to managed withdrawal and the risks of alcohol withdrawal
    • Introduction to sustained recovery and managing alcohol use
    • Managing tobacco dependence
    • Managing opioid withdrawal
    • Managing opioid dependence
    • Managing use of other common drugs
    • Hurdles to treatment and international perspectives
    • Management of dependence during pregnancy and after
    • Future directions and medication development (not examined)
    Specific Course Requirements
    Not applicable
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Not applicable
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Due (approx.) Weighting
    Online tests Formative
    Discussion board participation Summative 2-3 weeks after release of each topic 20%
    Written assignment 1 Summative Week 6 5%
    Written assignment 2 (Essay) Summative Week 13 35%
    Written examination Summative End of course 40%
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Not applicable
    Assessment Detail
    Written Assignment 1
    This is an exercise in discussing the pros and cons of a specific treatment using the literature. You will be offered a list of treatments to choose from. Length: 500 words (excluding reference list).

    Written Assignment 2: Essay
    The aim of the essay is to demonstrate understanding of the course material, to collect high quality information from peer reviewed journals, undertake critical appraisal of information sources, and demonstrate good academic writing skills. Length: 2000 words (excluding reference list).

    Written Examination
    This exam is designed to test broad understanding of the topics covered in the course. The exam will be made available on the VCU equivalent of MyUni (known as MyVCU) for a limited period of time. 
    Specific instructions on the preparation and submission of written assignments will be provided on the VCU equivalent of MyUni (known as MyVCU).

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
  • Fraud Awareness

    Students are reminded that in order to maintain the academic integrity of all programs and courses, the university has a zero-tolerance approach to students offering money or significant value goods or services to any staff member who is involved in their teaching or assessment. Students offering lecturers or tutors or professional staff anything more than a small token of appreciation is totally unacceptable, in any circumstances. Staff members are obliged to report all such incidents to their supervisor/manager, who will refer them for action under the university's student’s disciplinary procedures.

The University of Adelaide is committed to regular reviews of the courses and programs it offers to students. The University of Adelaide therefore reserves the right to discontinue or vary programs and courses without notice. Please read the important information contained in the disclaimer.