Pharmacology & Addictions

ACS 525

Instructor: Dr. George Gonzalez, Ph.D.


COURSE OVERVIEW: Welcome to Pharmacology & Addictions. This course covers an account of the effects of psychoactive drugs on the brain and their behavior. Learning about current trends that mark today’s drug climate as students explore the social, psychological, economical and biological reasons why drug use and abuse occur. Students will also learn about current pharmacotherapies/treatments for individuals suffering from a substance use disorder. Topics include: Brain areas targeted by addictive drugs. Actions of addictive drugs on individual neurons. Nicotine, alcohol, and opiate addictions. Hallucinogens. Public policy for managing addiction in society. Introduction to pharmacology and addictions. Understanding of the biological basis for drug abuse and addiction. Major topics include: pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, introductory neuroanatomy, introductory neurophysiology, alcohol use and abuse, opiate use and abuse, cocaine and amphetamine abuse, barbiturate use and abuse, benzodiazepine use and abuse, hallucinogen abuse. The relationship between the increased illegal use of prescription opioids and the rising increase in accidental opioid overdose deaths. This course will consider the benefits and consequences of drug use (legal and illegal). The mechanism(s) of action and therapies for drugs of abuse will also presented. Students will also be introduced to the roles of different health care professionals, and the challenges of therapies; what is available for the patient.