Alcohol and Drug Use as a Health Problem
Full course description
The focus of this course is on understanding alcohol and drug use in a European public health context, and the resulting recommendations for interventions. You will learn to evaluate different interventions in the field of public health. The socio-ecological model is used as a leitmotiv throughout the course, approaching alcohol and drug use from different angles (e.g., psychopharmacology, social psychology, sociology, economy, policy).
First, the psychopharmacological effects of alcohol and drug use are explored. Second, motivational approaches as well as the role of peers and parents in adolescent alcohol and drug use are discussed. Third, alcohol and drug use is approached from a societal level, looking at population models and the influence of availability and other laws. Finally, attention is paid to (economic) evaluation and its role in policy making. The focus in this module will be mainly on primary prevention, although attention is given to secondary prevention and treatment, in particular screening and brief interventions.
After this course, students can
- describe the variety of alcohol and drug taking patterns within the EU and the variety and possible convergence in the EU in social responses to alcohol and drug use;
- explain (effects of) alcohol and drug use from different angles (e.g., psychopharmacology, psychology, sociology);
- make cross-country comparisons of alcohol and drug use, and its consequences and related policies;
- apply theoretical approaches from different disciplines in public health interventions;
- evaluate existing public health interventions in terms of “best” practices;
- distinguish the rhetorical and scientific arguments in discussions about alcohol and drug policies.
Below each case in this course, the basic literature is mentioned and this literature consists of both journal articles and chapters from books. This list is also available on student portal. You are, however, encouraged to explore additional literature to strengthen to your own development on this topic and to enrich the discussion in the tutorials.