This course will serve as an introduction to psychopharmacology and the processes of drug addiction. Major topics include classification of drugs, basic principles of pharmacology, the behavioral and physiological effects of drugs, and how drugs affect the fine chemical balance within our brains. We will begin by studying the nervous system and the actions of drugs before exploring the pharmacology of stimulants, depressants, inhalants, psychotherapeutics, alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, opiates, hallucinogens, and marijuana. This course will consist of lectures, discussions, occasional video clips, as well as in-class activities and projects.
COURSE OBJECTIVES/LEARNING OUTCOMES:
Upon completing this course you should be able to:
1. Describe the electrical and chemical events in neurons.
2. Explain how psychoactive drugs affect neu¬rons and the synapse.
3. Identify the main types of neurotrans¬mitters.
4. Identify the depressant drugs, their main psychoactive effects, and mechanisms of action.
5. Describe the opioids, their main psychoac¬tive effects, and mechanisms of action.
6. Describe the psychoactive effects of stimu¬lants and explain their mechanisms of action.
7. Identify the hallucinogens and discuss their psychoactive effects and mechanisms of action.
8. Discuss the psychoactive effects of the can¬nabinoids and their mechanisms of action.
9. List the types of inhalants and describe their psychoactive effects.