PHARM 7520EX - Addiction Policies

External - Trimester 3 - 2017

This course/module is designed to provide students of differing backgrounds 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 course/module will look 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.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PHARM 7520EX
    Course Addiction Policies
    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 M.SciAddictSt, GradCert & GradDip in International Addiction Studies students only
    Course Description This course/module is designed to provide students of differing backgrounds 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 course/module will look 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.
    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
    Week 6 Topic 6
    Week 7 Topic 7
    Week 8 Topic 8
    Week 9 Topic 9
    Week 10 Topic 10
    Week 11 Final Exam
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    At the end of this unit you should be able to demonstrate an understanding of:
    1. Trends in the history of drug and alcohol policy development;
    2. Current controversies related to drug and alcohol policy
    3. National policy approaches from around the globe and the differences among them ;
    4. The role of international organizations and international treaties in drug-related interventions;
    5. Various stakeholder group shaping and affected by drug and alcohol policy;
    6. Differences between policies that intervene at the level of supply vs. those that intervene at the level of demand;
    7. Drug control strategies, including, but not limited to economic, regulatory, criminal justice, treatment policy, media/social marketing, practical guidelines, and harm reduction strategies; 8. How substance abuse services are organized and financed;
    9. the complex relationship between political trends, policy and public health effects;
    10. How substance-related research can influence policy.

    Skills and Attitudes
    You will be expected to develop and/or enhance your:
    11. knowledge of historical and current influences on the development and implementation of drug and alcohol policy;
    12. competence in critically comparing policies and understanding the affect of policy decisions on public health outcomes and cost ;
    13. ability to effectively synthesize information and ideas in relation to controversies associated with drug and alcohol-related policy;
    14. academic writing skills;
    15. ability to effectively use online resources related to drug and alcohol policy;
    16. ability to effectively communicate your intellectual curiosity and knowledge to others in an online discussion.
    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 & 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
    Part 1 - The Historical, Philosophical, and Legal Underpinnings of Drug and Addiction Policy
    Topic 1:  History of Policy Development (Courtwright)
    Topic 2:  Addiction Policy, Politics, and Public Health (Cohen)
    Topic 3:  Development of International Drug Control Conventions and International Organizations: Treaties for controlling substances and access to controlled medications (O’Keeffe and Scholten)

    Part 2 - Recent trends in National and International Drug Policies and Drug and Addiction Control Strategies
    Topic 4:  Drug Policy Levers and Control Strategies (Supply reduction, Demand reduction and harm reduction) (Iguchi)
    Topic 5:  National and International Drug Policies (Trace)
    Topic 6:  Alcohol Policy (Babor)

    Part 3 - Influences on the Development of Policy and the role of Science in Addiction Policy
    Topic 7:  Stakeholders (NGOs and community organizations) (Laredo)
    Topic 8:  Bridging the Research-Policy Divide (Ritter)

    Part 4 - Current Topics and Controversies
    Topic 9:  Tobacco, Alcohol and Drug Policies (Nutt)
    Topic 10:  Current Topics/Controversies in Addiction Policy:  Legalization of Marijuana

    Final Exam
  • 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 Weeks 1-10 20%
    Brief Exercises on Appropriate use of Source Material, Database Searches Summative Weeks 3&4 5%
    Written Assignments x 2 Summative Week 6 35% (15% and 20% respectively)
    Written Examination Summative Week 11 40%
    Assessment Detail

    Formative assessment in this course/module includes online tests that are designed to help you learn and increase your level of understanding of the course/module material. The tests will be undertaken online, on a weekly basis. Feedback will be provided in the form of model answers or comments and question/test scores (you will see your own results for each question in the test and the
    class average). You can attempt the tests multiple times (and achieve the highest score possible, if you wish). Since this assessment is formative, the scores for these tests will not contribute to your final grade for the course/module, however their completion will be required (at least one attempt to answer each question). Once you have completed all the necessary tests you will receive permission to undertake
    the written examination for the course/module.


    Discussion Board
    Your Discussion Board participation will contribute 20% of the final grade for this course/module. There will be a minimum of 10 discussion topics offered by the course instructor, up to a maximum of 10. You MUST participate in at least 7 of the discussions, and for full credit, you MUST offer more than two comments—we are looking to develop a dialogue among students and faculty here!

    Brief Exercises
    You will be asked to complete two short exercises that together, will constitute 5% of your mark. The first exercise will ask you to read about appropriate use of information from sources and respond to a series of 10-15 questions in order to demonstrate your comprehension of the material. The second exercise asks you to complete a search in one of the several databases available to you through our library system (e.g., PubMed, PsycInfo) and describe the results of that search.

    Essay Assignments
    The first essay topic and instructions will be in Week 3 on VCU Blackboard. It is important that your first essay assignments should be approximately 1500 words; your second assignment 2500 words in length. Longer or shorter essays (10% more or less than the word limit) will be marked down 10% of the grade. Your essays should demonstrate a scholarly knowledge of the literature, but also a
    personal and creative engagement with the ideas raised.

    Written Examination
    The exam will be made available in Blackboard. It will be composed of 2 parts. There will be a multiple choice and short answer section on the exam that, once opened, will need to be completed in one hour. This will be closed book, closed note.

    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.