West Valley College_
Department of Psychology___
Michelle D. Reed
(408) 741-4029

Psychology of Addiction & Substance Abuse

General Information:
Classes will be held on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:55-12:20p.m. in Room SS58. Students who fail to attend the first class session will be dropped from the roster, unless prior arrangements have been made with the instructor. After the first session, students who stop attending, but fail to formally drop the course with Admissions & Records, will receive an F on their transcripts.
Course Description:
Psychology of Addiction & Substance Abuse provides students with an understanding of the biopsychosocial aspects of drug use and abuse. Students will be expected to read a minimum of 1 chapter per week from the primary textbook, to participate in class discussions (where applicable), and to actively study class handouts, lecture material, and film notes. Lecture Format: 3 units. Acceptable for credit: California State University. Course Number 030.
Course Objectives:
Student will be required to demonstrate an ability to analyze, synthesize, and critically evaluate basic concepts in psychopharmacology both in testing formats and practical applications. By the completion of the course, one must be able to explain the biopsychosocial determinates of addiction and substance abuse, as well as critically evaluate research findings in selected topics of the field.
Office Hours:
Regular office hours will be held in Social Sciences office 2b on Mondays from 12:30-1:30 P.M., Tuesdays from 12:30-1:30 P.M., and Thursdays from 8:30-9:00 A.M. Appointments may also be scheduled on an individual basis. Students needing to schedule individualized appointments should call my voicemail a minimum of 24 hours in advance, in order to ensure I have received the request in time. Students are encouraged to discuss any difficulties or questions they may have regarding the course content. Prior to the beginning of the semester, students may contact me via my e-mail address: michelle_reed@westvalley.edu. Once the term begins, all email communication will occur from within Angel at: http://wvmccd.angellearning.com/frames.aspx
Disability Statement:
West Valley College makes reasonable accommodations for persons with documented disabilities. College materials will be available in alternate formats (Braille, audio, electronic format, or large print) upon request. Please contact the Disability and Educational Support Program at (408) 741-2010 (voice) or (408) 741-2658 (TTY) for assistance.
Testing Format and Policy:
Students will be given three exams during the course, which will cover both lecture material and reading assignments. The exam format will consist of multiple choice, fill-in and short answer questions, as well as essays. Exams will be given at the beginning of the class period. Students requiring a make-up exam will receive a 7.5% off their exam score, if taken by the next class session. For exams taken after that time, additional deductions will be taken for every calendar day. Makeup exams must be taken within 10 calendar days of the original test date; otherwise, a zero will be recorded for the given test. Students are allowed only one makeup exam during the term.
Grading Policy:
Student exams and term papers will be graded on a slight curve, which is very close to a traditional percentage grading system. At the end of the semester, student test scores and term papers are totaled to formulate the overall grade out of 675 possible points. Although attendance and participation are not formally averaged into the grading process, they may be taken into consideration if the student's overall score falls on the boarder between two grades.
Cheating Policy:
Students caught cheating will receive an F for that exam or project. The zero will be averaged into the student's final grade. Additional repercussions from the college may also occur under such circumstances.
Required Texts and Materials:
Hanson, Glen, Peter Venturelli, and Annette Fleckenstein (2006) Drugs and Society (Ninth Edition).
Supplemental Reader: Sheff, David. Beautiful Boy: A Father's Journey Through His Son's Addiction
A 16 page Blue Book (8 1/2 x 11"), Scantron (Form 882), No. 2 pencil, and a non-erasable pen are all required for all exams
**Please Note: the instructor reserves the right to change any portion of the syllabus during the semester, in order to meet the needs of the given class.
Last Updated:7/15/09