PHARM 7519EX - Treatment of Addiction: Critical Issues

External - Trimester 3 - 2017

This course/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) will be considered. Students will explore and critically examine treatment options in special settings (for instance, prisons, criminal justice and employment) and in special populations (for instance, addicted healthcare professional, co-morbid patients, pregnancy).

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PHARM 7519EX
    Course Treatment of Addiction: Critical Issues
    Coordinating Unit Medical Sciences
    Term Trimester 3
    Level Postgraduate Coursework
    Location/s External
    Units 4
    Contact Online
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Restrictions Available to MSciAddictSt, GradCert and Grad Dip in International Addiction studies students only
    Course Description This course/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) will be considered. Students will explore and critically examine treatment options in special settings (for instance, prisons, criminal justice and employment) and in special populations (for instance, addicted healthcare professional, co-morbid patients, pregnancy).
    Course Staff

    No information currently available.

    Course Timetable

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

    Week 1 Topic 1
    Week 2 Topic 2
    Week 3 Topic 3
    Week 4 Topic 4
    Week 5 Topic 5 / Essay
    Week 6 Topic 6
    Week 7 Topic 7
    Week 8 Topic 8
    Week 9 Topic 9
    Week 10 Topic 10 / Essay
    Week 11 Revision Week
    Week 12 Revision and Exam Week
    This schedule is indicative of the timetable only.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    General Objectives
    To gain advanced understanding of critical issues in working with substance misuse clients
    concerning, diagnosis, classification and identification of biological markers of addiction.
    To understand the developmental effects of drugs of abuse including foetal alcohol syndrome.
    To examine special populations (the young and the older adult).
    To explore special and emerging issues (gambling, e-cigarettes and novel psychoactive
    substances, responding to opioid overdose).
    To examine dual diagnosis.
    To understand barriers to treatment (marginalisation and attitudes).
    At the end of this unit you should be able to demonstrate an understanding of:
    1. Critical issues involved in working with substance misuse clients concerning diagnosis and
    identification of substance misuse.
    2. Developmental effects of alcohol and of drugs of abuse.
    3. Critical issues involved identification of addiction in younger and older populations.
    4. Emerging issues in the addictions field.
    5. Special issues related to dual diagnosis.

    Skills and Attitudes
    You will be expected to develop and/or enhance your:
    6. Knowledge of the issues germane to substance misuse across the age range.
    7. Understanding of the terminology and nomenclature used to describe those who use
    8. Ability to write in a critical manner.
    9. Role as an active participant in the online discussion board.
    10. Ability to evaluate and critically discuss the issues raised in the module
    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
    Details will be made available on MyUni.
    Recommended Resources
    Details will be made available on MyUni.
    Online Learning
    Details will be made available on MyUni.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    Each week new material is released that you will work through. Your first focus should be on the Topic outline as this describes what you need to master on a certain topic and what information is available to you. Each study topic is comprised of the following components:

    • learning objectives
    • revision questions
    • concept lecture
    • readings
    • quiz to test your understanding (not graded)
    • discussion forum

    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 may be taught:
    Part 1 - Critical Issues on Identification

    Topic 1:  Terminology and Nomenclature (including DSMV) - Dr Ed Day; Terminology and Nomenclature - Dr Kim Wolff
    Topic 2:  Dual Diagnoses - Dr Kyle Dyer
    Topic 3:  Biological Markers of Substance Misuse - Dr Kim Wolff
    Topic 4:  Drug Testing in Workplace- Mr Clive Tobutt

    Please complete one of the elective topics*
    Essay submission and catch-up week

    Part 2 - Critical Issues among Special Groups

    Topic 5:  Drug Dependence in Pregnant Women - Dr Loretta Finnegan; Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome- Dr Gabriele Fischer
    Topic 6:  Developmental Effects of Drugs of Abuse - Dr Cathy Fernandes
    Topic 7:  Substance Misuse in Young People - Dr Kim Wolff
    Topic 8:  Alcohol Use Disorders in Older Adults - Dr Tony Rao
    Please complete one of the elective topics if you haven't done already*
    Essay submission and catch-up week

    *Elective Topics
    Choose one of the two to complete before the exam:
    Option 1: Preventing Drug-related Deaths with Take-home Naloxone - Dr Anna Williams or
    Option 2: Benzodiazepines Revisited - Prof Malcolm Lader
    Specific Course Requirements
    Details will be made available on MyUni.
  • 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 Learning Outcome
    Online Tests Formative

    Weeks 1-10

    Discussion Board participation Summative Week 11 20%
    Written Essay Assignment 1 Summative Week 5 25%
    Written Essay Assignment 2 Summative Week 10 25%
    Short Answer Exam Summative Week 12 30%
    This schedule is indicative of the timetable only.
    Assessment Detail

    Formative assessment in this module includes short tasks that are designed to help you increase your level of understanding of the module material. Please note that formative assessments are only meant to improve your learning and they do not contribute to your final grade in anyway.


    Discussion Board
    In this module, as in most others within the IPAS Programme, there will be seven required discussion forums during the class. Although students will be responsible for reading and responding to discussion topics each week, the level of participation expected will vary for each student by week.

    Essay Assignments
    The two essay assignments combined are worth 50% of your overall grade for this module (each essay being equally worth 25%). Each essay should be 1,500 words in length; longer or shorter essays (+/- 10% than the word limit) will be marked down by 10%. They should demonstrate scholarly knowledge of the literature, but also personal and creative engagement with the ideas raised. The essay titles and instructions are available on VCU Blackboard for you to access from Week 1 for the first essay and from Week 6 for the second essay.

    Short Answer Examination
    This exam is designed to test your broad understanding of the topics covered in the module and is worth 30% of your overall grade for this module. You should prepare yourself by taking the time to listen to each topic presentation and by reading around the material.
    The exam will be available for you to access on Blackboard for a period of 24 hours to allow students based in different time zones to complete the exam on the day. It is essential that you check your local time zone to ensure you have given yourself sufficient time to complete the exam. Submissions will not be possible after the deadline and late submissions by other means will be treated as a fail.

    You will receive and submit your written assignments electronically via the Assignment section in Blackboard or via email if you are instructed to do so. In each course where written assignments are required, you will receive specific instructions as to the manner in which you will be expected to make assignment submissions.


    Several courses use exams that can be either supervised written exams or computer-based open book exam. These exams will have a specific time at which they need to be completed. The duration and mode of the examination may vary by course/module at the discretion of the course/module director.
    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.