This is Your Brain Learning about Drugs: The Science and Policy Behind Drugs and Behavior
ICSM 10500 - 28
ICSM: Learning About Drugs
MWF 11:00 AM - 11:50 AM, W 12:00 PM - 12:50 PM
Humans have a long history of using mind/mood altering chemicals for both recreational and therapeutic reasons. Some chemicals, like stimulants, can be used in an abusive manner (for example methamphetamine or marijuana), yet also have therapeutic purposes (Adderall or medicinal marijuana, respectively). Our attitudes and beliefs about drugs are shaped by our culture, society, public policy, legality issues, and personal experiences. Yet, public knowledge about what these chemicals are, how they work in our body, and what science says about their effectiveness, generally lags behind our beliefs and attitudes towards these compounds. Throughout this course we will explore both the science and our own personal values surrounding commonly used therapeutic and drugs of abuse. Starting with a perspective in psychopharmacology, we will understand how these chemicals influence biological processes in our bodies and brains. Subsequently, we will consider how laws, public policy, societal attitudes, and our own personal experiences shape our opinions of these drugs and their place in our lives. A varied collection of book chapters, popular science articles, podcasts, TED Talks, blogs, and educational materials will be used to explore all sides of these issues and challenge us to think critically about our beliefs about drug use, misuse, and abuse.