Drugs and Dependence

7.5 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 3FF505

A revised version of the syllabus is available.
Education cycle
Second cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Drug Management A1N, Pharmaceutical Biosciences A1N
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
Finalised by
The Educational Board of Pharmacy, 27 March 2007
Responsible department
Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences

General provisions

Substitutes and corresponds to the previously given course 3FF020 Drug dependence, advanced level C. 1.5 credits (hp) correspond to 1 credit point (p) according to the earlier study regulation.

Entry requirements

Within the Master of Science Programme in Pharmacy, it is required that the student has at least 150 credits (100 credit points) of which at least 60 credits (40 credit points) bioscience including pharmacology. Within the Bachelor of Science Programme in Pharmacy, it is required that the student has at least 120 credits (80 credit points) of which at least 60 credits (40 credit points) bioscience including pharmacology. For students on the Chemical Engineering Programme, it is required that the student has 120 credits (80 credit points) of which at least 45 credits (30 credit points) chemistry and 30 credits (20 credit points) drug-related courses. For students taking the course as a single subject course it is required 150 credits/100 credit points,of which at least 60 credits/40 credit points bioscience including pharmacology or equivalent knowledge from pharmaceutical, medical, veterinary science, dental or scientific education. Knowledge in Swedish and English equivalent to the general requirements for Swedish higher education on a basic level.

Learning outcomes

After examination, the student should be able to: - define concepts within the field of drug abuse and addiction research - state transmitter systems and brain regions that are involved in drug addiction and explain their role in development of addiction - describe neurobiology aspects on drug dependence, reward and adaptation mechanisms, risk- and protective factors, influence of genetic and environmental factors - describe and explain cellular mechanisms of action for drugs of abuse - account for other pharmacological aspects: acute and chronic effects, toxic effects at overdosing, administration, distribution and metabolism of drugs - account for intoxication and abstinence effects, development of addiction, addiction patterns for drugs of abuse - describe different treatment strategies of drug addiction and justify advantages and disadvantages with different treatments - account for pharmacological treatment of drug addiction and explain mechanisms of action - describe experimental models for studies of drug addiction - analyse normal laboratory animal behaviour and identify drug effects by means of computer simulation - theoretically design trials to study effects of and addiction potential for drugs of abuse - evaluate and analyse information about drugs of abuse, preventive measures and treatment strategies During the course, the student shall write an essay which implies that the student should: - search and compile new scientific information about a drug - perform an oral and written presentation - critically analyse other essays


The course intends to provide knowledge of addiction mechanisms in the brain and a deeper knowledge about various types of drugs of abuse or such as alcohol, drugs for medical use, opiates, central stimulants, nicotine, cannabis, hallucinogenic drugs, designed drugs and dopes. Pharmacological and neurobiology aspects on drug addiction are central. Epidemiology, drug analyses, preventive measures and medical, psychological, social and social consequences of drug abuse and dependence are considered during the course.


The teaching mainly comprise lectures. Compulsory parts are lectures, computer exercise, essay writing and presentation and if included, study visits.


Examination is arranged at the end of the course. In order to achieve the overall grade pass for the entire course, all the compulsory parts of the course must be passed, including essay (examination code) and written examination (examination code) The opportunity to complete any failed compulsory part can only be arranged when the course is offered again and only if there are vacancies. Students who have failed the first examination are allowed five re-examinations.