PHARM 3101 - Biological and Psychosocial Factors in Addictions

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2019

Everyone differs in their susceptibility to develop addiction. We respond differently to drugs of abuse, have different side-effects and develop problem behaviour at a different rate. This course explores the factors that can increase or decrease the chance that someone will develop addictive behaviour. We will explore the effects of individual substances and learn how the body adapts to continued drug use. Addiction is more than just using drugs often. The biological changes that happen with long-term drug use go far beyond the initial local adaptations in the brain. Understanding this is important to help people manage their long-term use. In this course, we will explore the biological basis of addictions, but also review environmental and psychological factors that are important contributors to the development of addiction. Behavioural addictions have a lot in common with substance addictions. We will explore these links and look at other new developments in the research on the biological basis of addiction.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code PHARM 3101
    Course Biological and Psychosocial Factors in Addictions
    Coordinating Unit Medicine
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 5 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites HLTH SC 2104
    Assumed Knowledge HLTH SC 2104
    Course Description Everyone differs in their susceptibility to develop addiction. We respond differently to drugs of abuse, have different side-effects and develop problem behaviour at a different rate. This course explores the factors that can increase or decrease the chance that someone will develop addictive behaviour. We will explore the effects of individual substances and learn how the body adapts to continued drug use. Addiction is more than just using drugs often. The biological changes that happen with long-term drug use go far beyond the initial local adaptations in the brain. Understanding this is important to help people manage their long-term use. In this course, we will explore the biological basis of addictions, but also review environmental and psychological factors that are important contributors to the development of addiction. Behavioural addictions have a lot in common with substance addictions. We will explore these links and look at other new developments in the research on the biological basis of addiction.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Abdallah Salem

    Dr Abdallah Salem
    Head of Discipline Pharmacology
    abdallah.salem@adelaide.edu.au

    Lectures and workshops will be run by staff from the Disciplines of Pharmacology and Psychiatry, School of Psychology, Yaitya Purruna Unit and external experts.

    Course Timetable

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

    The course is taught by academics from the Adelaide Medical School and the School of Psychology primarily, with support from local and global experts.

    Week lecture lecture
    1 Biological and Psychosocial Factors Biological and Psychosocial Factors
    2 Individual differences in susceptibility to addiction: Psychosocial Individual differences in susceptibility to addiction: Biological
    3 Individual differences in susceptibility to addiction: Social experiences Individual differences in susceptibility to addiction: Life span
    4 The brain and brain signalling How drugs affect the brain
    5 Different drugs-different effects Different drugs-different effects
    6 Different drugs-different effects Different drugs-different effects
    7 Biological changes in addiction Biological changes in addiction
    8 Biological changes in addiction Biological changes in addiction
    9 Psychological processes in addiction Psychological processes in addiction
    10 Comorbid addiction and mental health Comorbid addiction and mental health
    11 Behavioural addictions Behavioural addictions
    12 Advances in research Advances in research
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes

    On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

    1. Demonstrate an understanding of the effects of a range of drugs of abuse, including nicotine and alcohol

    2. Demonstrate an understanding of adaptation in the body and brain that arise with continued drug use

    3. Understand the processes that drive behavioural addictions

    4. Analyse the factors that impact on the chance that someone will develop an addiction

    5. Describe the psychological processes that affect continued drug use or problem gambling behaviour

    6. Describe recent developments in our understanding of the biological basis of addiction and comorbidities

    7. Discuss origins of addiction in a professional and culturally sensitive manner
    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)
    1-6
    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
    4
    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
    7
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    4,7
    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
    7
    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
    7
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Textbook: William Blows, The Biological Basis Of Mental Health, 3rd Edition, 2016, Routledge, ISBN: 9781138900615.
    Also available as ebook (ISBN 9781315707167).
    Recommended Resources
    Nancy Petry (Editor) Behavioral Addictions: Dsm-5® and Beyond; 1st Edition, 2016, Oxford University Press, ISBN: 978-0199391547
    Online Learning
    Online resources will be used extensively to help with both bridging and extending students. We will offer interactive tools on drugs, case studies and perspectives from professionals. We will also use video or lecture material from local and international experts to provide a rich learning experience.
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    In this course we will use interactive lectures and online resources to provide the students with new material to increase their understanding of the topic. The workshops will be used to discuss the nuances in smaller groups such as looking at life trajectories and lived experiences and help them to discuss issues in a professional and culturally sensitive way. We feel it is important to help students understand the human angle, show the stories behind the people with addiction to help them understand life trajectories.
    Workload

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


    The total weekly workload for this course is 12 hours per week with a contact time of 3-4 hours per week;
    as a guide it is comprised of the following activities:
    Lectures including preparation: 4 hours p.w.
    Workshops including preparation: 3 hours p.w.
    Study, test and exam revision; preparation group presentation: 5 hours p.w.
    Learning Activities Summary

    Week lecture (2 lectures each week) Workshop
    1 Biological and Psychosocial factors in drug use and addiction What is addiction?
    2 Individual differences in susceptibility to addiction: Biological and Psychological Individual differences
    3 Individual differences in susceptibility to addiction: Social experiences and Life Span Long impact of trauma
    4 The brain and brain signalling How drugs affect our brain and behaviour
    5 Different drugs-different effects Patterns of alcohol and drug use
    6 Different drugs-different effects Abuse liability of drugs
    7 Biological changes in addiction Biological changes with continued drug use
    8 Biological changes in addiction   Biology of addiction
    10 Psychological factors in addiction Psychological processes
    11 Having both addiction and mental health problems Impact of comorbidity
    12 Behavioural Addictions Drug versus behavioural addictions
    13 Advances in research Group work


  • 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 WEIGHTING COURSE LEARNING OUTLCOME(S)
    Online quizzes Formative 0% 1-6
    Online tests Summative 30% 1-6
    Workshop participation Summative 15% 1-7
    Presentation Summative 10% 1-7
    Exam Summative 45% 1-6
    Assessment Related Requirements
    Students need to attend and be involved in at least 50% of the weekly workshops.
    Assessment Detail

    Online quizzes (0%) - students will have access to online quizzes to test their understanding of the topics.

    Online tests (30%) - students will sit three online MCQ content tests of 10% each to test their understanding of the content.

    Workshop participation (15%) - student attendance and participation will contribute to 15% of the grade.

    Presentation (10%) - groups of students will be asked to research one aspect of biology of addictions and present to the group how this impacts the chance that someone will develop or maintain addictive behaviour.

    Exam (45%) - students will sit an individual 3 hour closed book exam to test their knowledge and understanding of the content.
    Submission
    The majority of tasks will be submission through MyUni.

    Late submissions of any student work are not acceptable. Coursework received after the deadline will be penalised as follows:10% of total available points will be penalised per day (24 hour period or fraction thereof). An automatic zero mark will be applied after 7 days.

    If you miss an assessment test e.g. from illness, you are required to present medical or compassionate certification to be eligible to sit a supplementary test. Such certificates need to be provided to The Course Coordinator directly within one week of the test date. The date and time of the supp. test is then determined by the Course Coordinator and is not negotiable. Students will be informed of the supp. test date by email.
    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 (http://www.adelaide.edu.au/policies/101/) 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.

    This is a new course, so SELT's are not available yet.
  • 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.