Contact & Location


Psychology & Communications Studies

Physical Address:
Student Health Center 206
PHONE: (208) 885-6324
FAX:(208) 885-7710


Mailing Address:
University of Idaho
c/o Psychology & Communication Studies
Student Health Center 206
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3043
Moscow, ID  83844-3043

J470/J570 | Introduction to Chemical Addictions

Credits: 3 cr.
Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites for this course.

Course Description: This three-credit course provides an overview of the field of Addiction Studies. This information will serve as a foundation for more in-depth learning in each of these areas as they are covered in future courses in the Addiction Studies curriculum. Topics include: 
  • Drugs and Society – social views and impacts of drug abuse on society
  • Drugs of Abuse – drugs of abuse and how they work
  • Addiction and Recovery – definitions, bio-psycho-social factors
  • Assessment – risk factors; introduction to the assessment process
  • Addiction and the Family – family systems, codependency, links to abusive or addictive use
  • Intervention – introduction to the intervention process with adults and adolescents
  • Treatment – harm reduction, treatment modalities, motivational interviewing, relapse prevention
  • Prevention – definitions, prevention technologies

Goal: The main goal of this course is to provide current, best-practices information in all relevant areas of the field of Addiction Studies.

Objectives: The main objectives for attaining this information include assigned readings, web exercises, reaction papers, research papers, and class discussion.

Outcomes and Competencies: Upon completion of this course, participants will have/be able to:

  • Knowledge of a variety of models and theories of addiction and other substance-related problems
  • Appreciation of the social, political, economic and cultural context within which addiction and substance abuse exists, including risk and resiliency factors that characterize individuals and their living environments
  • Awareness of the impact of drug abuse on society
  • Knowledge of the philosophies, practices, policies and outcomes of the most generally accepted models of treatment, recovery, relapse prevention and continuing care for addictions and other substance abuse related problems
  • Appreciation for the value of an interdisciplinary approach to addiction treatment
  • Describe the warning signs, symptoms and the course of substance use disorders
  • Describe principles and philosophies of prevention, treatment and recovery
  • Demonstrate strategies to maintain one's own physical and mental health
  • Knowledge of various drugs of abuse, including their effects and mechanisms of action
  • Knowledge of the process of assessment for addiction
  • Knowledge of the process of intervention

Course Requirements: There are several requirements for this course.

Web exercises: You will be required to complete several web exercises on various topic areas. Specific instructions for each assigned web exercise are available in your Hanson and Venturelli text and on the web site for the text.

Reaction papers: You will be required to complete several brief papers on various topics you will encounter throughout the course. These papers are to describe your personal reactions to each topic - a thoughtful analysis including a) questions left unanswered by the presentation, b) possible biases of the writer/presenter and yourself, c) differences between the material presented and what you have learned from your personal readings and experience. Papers must be a minimum of five pages in length (typed, double-spaced, one-inch margins, 10- or 12-pitch font) and informed by class discussion and reading.

Research paper: You will be required to complete one research paper on a topic in which you have a strong interest. (Discuss your chosen topic with the instructor before proceeding.) This will involve conducting a literature review and citing a minimum of 10 references from journal articles or books. Popular press (e.g. Time, Scientific American, Newspapers, etc.) will not count toward your total. You may use up to four web references from reputable web sites. You will be required to provide each class member with an outline of your paper and findings and a bibliography; the instructor will make these available to all class participants.

Class discussion: You will be expected to participate in and contribute to class discussions by using the discussion sections in each topic area.

Exams: You will be given three exams to develop and challenge your knowledge of the material. These will be open book, open note, open person exams; you may use any information sources you wish to help you complete each exam.