Academic Catalog


Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Summer 2022
Units: 4
Hours: 4 lecture per week (48 total per quarter)
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area VII: Lifelong Learning, Area IV: Social & Behavioral Sciences
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will describe the role of social values in relation to scientific evidence in the definition of drug abuse.
  • Students will explain the component parts of social control theory.
  • Students will describe the component parts of a harm reduction approach to drug abuse.


Introduction to problems of substance abuse. History and classification of alcohol and drug abuse. Equips human service workers and general public with knowledge about issues involved in alcohol and drug abuse. Intervention and rehabilitation programs as well as public policy paradigms are examined.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:

  1. Become factually informed regarding the impact of alcohol and drug abuse.
  2. Assess the limits of criminal sanctions in the control of alcohol and drug abuse.
  3. Analyze the relationship between crime and drug and alcohol abuse.
  4. Recognize that improved control of alcohol and drug abuse problems can only be obtained through more understanding and closer coordination of all human services agencies.

Course Content

  1. The sociology of substance abuse
    1. Gain knowledge of the substance abuse problems within a social framework
      1. Sociological dynamics
      2. Economic dynamics
    2. Identify Federal and State laws concerning the use and abuse of alcohol, narcotics and dangerous drugs
      1. Drugs, alcohol and crime
    3. Gain knowledge of the work and methods of various control agencies organized to deal with substance abuse
    4. The media and substance abuse
  2. Historical development of drugs and alcohol
  3. Recreational drug and alcohol use in the United States
  4. Aspects of addiction
    1. Introduction to pharmacology and alcohol
    2. The biology of drugs, alcohol and addiction
    3. Drug and alcohol abuse as a way of thinking
    4. Loss, grief, spiritualism and drug and alcohol abuse
    5. Chronic alcohol abuse and addiction
      1. The contemporary context in treatment
    6. Abuse and addiction to:
      1. Alcohol
      2. The barbiturates and barbiturate-like drugs
      3. The benzodiazepines and similar agents
      4. The amphetamines and amphetamine-like drugs
      5. Cocaine
      6. Marijuana
      7. Opiates
      8. Over-the-counter analgesics
      9. Hallucinogens
      10. Inhalants and aerosols
      11. Anabolic steroids
      12. Tobacco products and nicotine
    7. Drug and alcohol abuse and special groups
      1. Addiction and the family
      2. Effects of maternal drug use during pregnancy
      3. The dual diagnosis client—chemical addiction and mental illness
      4. Chemical abuse by children and adolescents
      5. Co-dependency and enabling
      6. Welfare mothers and addiction
    8. Identify educational and rehabilitative techniques that are used in dealing with substance abusers
      1. The hidden faces of chemical dependency
      2. The treatment of chemical dependency
      3. Treatment formats for chemical dependency rehabilitation
      4. Recovery
      5. Problems in treating chemical dependency
      6. Pharmacological intervention tactics for substance abuse
      7. Self help groups
      8. Harm reduction

Lab Content

Not applicable.

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

When taught as an online distance learning section, students and faculty need ongoing and continuous internet and email access.

Method(s) of Evaluation

Methods of Evaluation may include but are not limited to the following:

Class discussions
Active learning exercises
Oral presentations
Critical essay(s)
Examinations or quizzes

Method(s) of Instruction

Methods of Instruction may include but are not limited to the following:

Oral presentations
Electronic discussions/chat

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Abadinsky, Howard. Drug Use and Abuse: An Comprehensive Introduction. 2018.

Doweiko, Harold. Concepts of Chemical Dependency. 2019.

Goode, Erich. Drugs in American Society. 2020.

Hanson, Glenn, and P. Venturelli. Drugs and Society. 2020.

Inciardi, James, and K. McElrath. The American Drug Scene: Readings in Global Context, 7th ed.. 2014.

Kuhn, Cynthia, S. Swartzwelder, and W. Wilson. Buzzed: The Straight Facts about the Most Used and Abused Drugs from Alcohol to Ecstasy. 2019.

The Inciardi/McElrath text is the most recent edition and it remains classic and current.

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

  1. College level readings from primary and secondary sources
  2. College level writing assignments based on primary and secondary source reflection and/or analysis