This unit introduces students to issues relating to a major contemporary social and community health problem; the misuse of alcohol and other addictive drugs - both licit and illicit. Two major areas will be examined: a) issues relating to the development of health promotion and preventative heath policy relating to the abuse of drugs. This will cover current debates relating to harm minimisation and associated legal and ethical considerations regarding illicit substances; and b) an examination and analysis of the varying approaches to treatment and rehabilitation for drug addiction. The unit will introduce students to current debates relating to public health policy approaches to addiction giving due consideration to the complications of illegality. Students will be required to report on the value and effectiveness of current harm minimisation practices; e.g., needle sharing programs, needle injecting facilities, methadone maintenance. Students will be asked to examine and report on the practical effectiveness and moral and ethical considerations surrounding the operation of such programs and possible alternatives. In the second half of the unit students will consider the effectiveness and community acceptance of the various established rehabilitation and treatment programs. This will include research into programs such as Alcoholic and Narcotic Anonymous, Therapeutic Communities, and the range of professionally-based therapeutic counselling approaches. The role of health professionals in these programs will also be examined.
Mid-semester quiz (30%), tutorial discussions (30%), essay (40%)
REHB5014 or REHB3064