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330.602.81 the Epidemiology of Substance Use and Related Problems

Mental Health
4th term
3 credits
Academic Year:
2017 - 2018
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Renee Johnson
Course Instructor s:

Introduction to Online Learning is required prior to participating in any of the School's Internet-based courses. 340.601 - Principles of Epidemiology or any introductory epidemiology course.


Presents an overview of the epidemiology of substance use and substance use disorders, within a public health framework. Initially, we review how drugs are classified and regulated, and then we examine trends in estimates of prevalence and incidence of drug and alcohol use and problems. Explores the epidemiology of the most common drugs of abuse, such as alcohol, marijuana, opioids, and cocaine.

Learning Objectives:

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

  1. Describe drug policy in the US, including how substances are regulated;
  2. Describe the leading drugs of abuse in the US and their prevalence of use and health and social impacts;
  3. Examine the overlap between substance use and mental disorders;
  4. Explain key concepts in substance use epidemiology, such as tolerance, withdrawal, addictive potential, etc;
  5. Consider the role of epidemiology in informing and evaluating policy and public health interventions targeting substance use and substance use disorders;
  6. Understand a variety of approaches to prevention of substance use, screening and treatment for substance use disorders, and diagnosis of substance use disorder; and
  7. Be a competent consumer of substance use epidemiology research.
Methods of Assessment:

Mid-term exam (30%), one review paper (25%), a final exam (30%), and a group presentation (15%). The formats for all assignments are described in the syllabus.

Instructor Consent:

No consent required