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

J472/J572 | Introduction to Pharmacology of Psychoactive Drugs

Credits: 3 cr.
Website: Introduction to Pharmacology of Psychoactive Drugs

Course Overview: This course is designed to provide you with an overview of the pharmacology related to various psychoactive drugs. Generally, the course will cover biological aspects of the body and how various compounds impact the body. Although some social aspects of various drugs will be covered, the majority of the course focus is on neurological and biological aspects. Although it is not required, it is recommended that students complete a basic biology course before taking this course.

  • Recognize the potential for substance use disorders to mimic a variety of medical and psychological disorders and the potential for medical and psychological disorders to co-exist with addiction and substance abuse 
  • Be familiar with medical and pharmaceutical resources in the treatment of addictive diseases and other substance-related disorders. 
  • Describe warning signs, symptoms and the course of substance use disorders. 
  • Demonstrate strategies to maintain one’s own physical and mental health.

Other objectives: 
  1. Understand the physiological mechanisms, neural mechanisms, and neurochemical processes related to psychoactive drugs. 
  2. Understand the pharmacokinetics of psychoactive drugs. 
  3. Understand the pharmacodynamics of psychoactive drugs. 
  4. Understand the Psychology behind use and abuse of these drugs. 
  5. Enhance your writing skills

There will be several requirements for this course.

Papers: You will be required to complete several brief papers related to topics will you will encounter throughout the course. All papers are to be computer or type written.

Term Paper: You will be required to write a term paper on an illicit drug of your choice. You must use at least 10 references from journal articles or books. Popular press (e.g., Time, Scientific American, Newspapers, etc) and Non-Governmental web sites will not count toward your total. You can use a maximum of 4 web sites in your count.

Take Home Exams: You will be given two take-home exams to examine and develop your knowledge of the material. These will be open book, open note, open person exams. That is, you can use any information you wish to help you.