PSY3040 : Psychobiology of Drug Addiction
- Offered for Year: 2019/20
- Module Leader(s): Dr Mohammed Shoaib
- Lecturer: Dr Domhnall Jennings
- Owning School: Psychology
- Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
|Semester 2 Credit Value:||10|
The module will provide an overview on the current status of research in the field of drug addiction. With a diverse set of psychological theories proposed to explain addictive behaviours, the aim of the module is to focus on the current research in the drug addictions, understand some of the basic concepts within drug taking, appreciate the importance of the research methods used to model addiction in laboratory animals and also the translation to human psychopharmacological studies that utilise neuroimaging and pharmacogenetics.
Outline Of Syllabus
The psychopharmacology of drug action will be covered with specific lectures on the various classes of drugs of abuse, their molecular and cellular mechanisms of action and how they all work within a unitary circuit to induce dependence. Aspects of comorbidity along with individual vulnerability will be presented. Finally, the different approaches taken to treat drug addiction will be reviewed, using both pharmacological and behavioural strategies.
Drug use and addiction – Aspects of harm and classification of drug addictions (DSM-V)
Learning theories in addiction – operant and classical conditioning
Primary reinforcement vs Habitual drug taking in humans
Neuropharmacology of psychomotor stimulants, caffeine & alcohol
Neuropharmacology of opioids, nicotine and alcohol and cannabinoids
Animal models of drug addiction
Comorbidity: overlap of neural circuits with psychiatric disorders
Impact on cognitive processes: relevance to self-medication
Behavioural traits predisposing drug addictions/Individual vulnerability
Treatment – Pharmacological and Behavioural Interventions
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Lecture||10||1:00||10:00||Factual lectures|
|Guided Independent Study||Assessment preparation and completion||1||86:00||86:00||Private Study|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Practical||1||2:00||2:00||Preparation for grant proposal|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Small group teaching||2||1:00||2:00||Interactive seminars|
Teaching Rationale And Relationship
Teaching will be delivered using conventional methods of a series of lectures followed by seminars which will allow students to interact by asking questions and respond to random exam questions to discuss exam techniques etc. A significant amount of time is allocated to private study as there will be significant amounts of factual knowledge that the students will be assessed upon.
The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners
|Written Examination||120||2||A||80||Answer 2 essay questions out of 4|
|Research proposal||2||M||20||Grant proposal chosen from topics selected by the module leader (1200 word count max limit)|
Assessment Rationale And Relationship
Lectures will provide a forum for presentation of factual material.
Seminars will provide a forum for discussion of appropriate and relevant topics to allow students to further their knowledge and understanding of the field.
The task of preparing an essay based on a chosen topic in drug addiction will assess the ability of the student to acquire detailed, systematic and comprehensive knowledge within the discipline, with in-depth specialisation at the forefront of the discipline in certain areas, and demonstrate advanced critical understanding of this knowledge and of the limits and provisional nature of this knowledge. Furthermore, the student will need to review and critically evaluate published work at an advanced level and summarise the information in the form of a concise essay presented in a series of logical, coherent and sustained arguments, The essay will also the students' skills in written communication.
Assessment in the form of an examination is an appropriate way to assess both theoretical understanding and problem solving skills under time constraint. Knowledge and understanding in the field of drug addictions, material presented via the series of lectures will be assessed.