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330.602.01 Epidemiology of Drug Dependence

Mental Health
1st term
3 credits
Academic Year:
2012 - 2013
East Baltimore
Class Times:
  • M W,  1:30 - 2:50pm
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Debra Holden
Course Instructor:



Presents an overview of the epidemiology of drug and alcohol dependence and its relevance to public health. Reviews trends in estimates of prevalence and incidence of drug and alcohol use and problems related to use. Examines factors that might influence subgroup variation and health disparities in drug use outcomes using a dynamic approach that addresses changes over time and across the life course. Explores the universe of suspected causal influences and mechanisms ranging from genetic to societal influences using a model in which transitions in stages of drug involvement are influenced by interactions between individual susceptibility and social environmental factors. Presents research methodology and recent innovations in drug and alcohol epidemiologic research. The goal of this course is further understanding of the usefulness of epidemiology for shedding light on the natural history of drug and alcohol use and the relevance of epidemiologic research to basic and clinical research

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify appropriate data sources and approaches for addressing research questions about the epidemiology of drug use and dependence in the United States
  2. Consider the role of epidemiology in informing and assessing policy and public health interventions targeting drug and alcohol dependence
  3. Use epidemiologic approaches to describe the natural history of drug use and test for potential influences on transitions in stages of drug use
  4. Describe conceptualizations of addiction and their importance for research
Methods of Assessment:

Student evaluation based on class participation and/or a final exam.

Instructor Consent:

No consent required