This course explores the impact of substance use disorders and addictive behaviors on the behavioral and mental health of individuals, families, and groups. Students gain a historical perspective on trends, attitudes, criminalization, and treatment of individuals struggling with addiction. Special emphasis is given to the impact of systemic poverty, racism, and oppression in understanding the prevalence and maintenance of addiction within specific marginalized communities.
At an individual level, students gain insight into the correlation between the experience of trauma and the development of addiction. Recovery models—both harm-reduction and abstinence-based—include a broad range of interventions, such as psychological, behavioral, pharmacological, spiritual, and self-help programs.