Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:
1. Identify the progressive stages of the disease of chemical dependency.
2. Describe and list the most commonly abused drugs and their effects on the body.
3. Recognize and analyze the basic metabolic and neurological processes involved
in drug use.
4. Describe the social effects of psychoactive substances on the user.
5. Describe the special service needs and staff precautions necessary when working with
clients who may be HIV, hepatitis, STI or tuberculosis positive.
6. Analyze in writing the risk and intervention issues associated with prenatal drug use.
I. Effects of psychoactive substance on the user
A. Basic principles of pharmacology on the brain, body, and behavior
B. Main body systems that are affected by abuse of prescription medications,
alcohol and illegal drugs
3. Immune systems
6. Central and peripheral nervous systems
II. Review the basic metabolic and neurological processes
A. Comprehensive outline of the most widely abused prescription drugs,
alcohol and illegal drugs
B. Differentiate between the different classes of drugs and their
actions/reactions on clients
III. Review physical and psychological dependency, tolerance, and withdrawal
A. Basic principles of drug actions and interactions
B. Abusive use of prescription medications, alcohol and/or illegal drugs
IV. Issues associated with prenatal drug use
A. The effects of drugs on the body systems during pregnancy
B. Smoking during pregnancy
C. Premature born and low birth weight
D. Child abuse and neglect cases in the courts
V. Special services and staff needed when working with high risk clients who may be HIV, hepatitis,
STI or tuberculosis positive
A. Basic understanding of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental
Disorders(DSM-IVTR), American Psychiatric Association
B. Policies and processes of reporting and documenting
C. Communication both verbal and non-verbal when performing assessments
and communicating with clients
D. Drug testing
1. Examples of test
2. Advantages and disadvantages of testing
3. The impact of false positive and false negative on the client
VI. Medical and pharmacological resources available in treatment
A. Various medications and nutritional aids to assist the body in recovery
B. Current literature regarding medical and pharmacological
C. The role medical problems and complications play in the intervention
and treatment of addiction
Students will be required to read at least 40 pages per week and other selected reading
from journals assigned by the instructor.
1. One to two 5-page critiques on any treatment modality. Give the pros and cons of
each method with appropriate documentation.
2. One to two 3-page analyses of how a given drug will affect the fetus of a
3. Written evaluation of a treatment program in Sonoma County, 3-5 pages.
Students will be given a midterm and final exam, and at least two additional short exams on material covered in class.
Mid-term and final will include essay questions.
Uppers, Downers, All Arounders: Physical and Mental Effects of Psychoactive Drugs. Inaba, Darryl, Cohen, William E. and Holstein, Michael E. CNS Publications: 2004
Concepts of Chemical Dependency. Doweiko, Harold E. Brooks/Cole: 2006
Handouts: Free materials of the National Institutes of Alcohol and Drug Abuse.
Basic Pharmacology for Counselors and Psychotherapists. Sinacola, R.S. and Peters-Strickland, S. Allyn and Bacon: 2006
Understanding Pharmacology, A Physiological Approach. Grajeda-Higley, Leilani. Prentice Hall: 2006