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 Course Title:   Physiology & Pharmacology of Psychoactive Drugs

 Title Abbreviation:   PHYS & PHARM PSYCHO DRUG

 Department:    HSERV

 Course #:    242

 Credits:    3

 Variable:     No

 IUs:    3

 CIP:    511501

 EPC:    437

 REV:    2017

 Course Description  

Broad overview of the pharmacological and physiological impact of psychoactive drug use coupled with a detailed examination of the neurochemical changes that accompany drug dependencies. Required course for those on the Human Services chemical dependency track.


Prerequisite: HSERV 141 or instructor permission

Additional Course Details

Contact Hours (based on 11 week quarter)

Lecture: 33

Lab: 0

Other: 0

Systems: 0

Clinical: 0

Intent: Distribution Requirement(s) Status:  

Vocational Preparatory Required for ATA degree  

Equivalencies At Other Institutions

Other Institution Equivalencies Table
Institution Course # Remarks

Learning Outcomes

After completing this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Categorize psychoactive drugs into the appropriate classes which should include depressants, stimulants, opiates, hallucinogens, and psychotropic medications.
  2. Identify the acute and chronic effects of each drug class as well as clinically relevant interactions between these classes.
  3. Discuss specific neurological/behavioral aspects of drug action as they relate to the addictive process.
  4. Discuss and identify cultural and societal differences in epidemiology of drug use.

General Education Learning Values & Outcomes

Revised August 2008 and affects outlines for 2008 year 1 and later.

2. Critical Thinking

Definition: The ability to think critically about the nature of knowledge within a discipline and about the ways in which that knowledge is constructed and validated and to be sensitive to the ways these processes often vary among disciplines.

Outcomes: Students will be able to . . .
2.1 Identify and express concepts, terms, and facts related to a specific discipline.

9. Scientific Literacy

Definition: Understanding scientific principles, and analyzing and applying scientific information in a variety of contexts.

Outcomes: Students will be able to . . .
9.1 Demonstrate an understanding of fundamental scientific concepts.

Course Contents

  1. Pertinent anatomy/physiology.
  2. Basics of pharmacology.
  3. Systematic classification scheme which describes the major classes of psychoactive drugs.
  4. Acute and chronic effects of each drug class including interactions between classes.
    • Including neurochemistry of each drug class.
  5. Cultural and societal differences in epidemiology of drug use.