Drugs and Dependence

7.5 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 3FF505

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, 25 April 2019
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 of which at least 60 credits bioscience including pharmacology.

Within the Bachelor of Science Programme in Pharmacy, it is required that the student has at least 120 credits of which at least 60 credits bioscience including pharmacology.

For students on the Chemical Engineering Programme, it is required that the student has 120 credits of which at least 45 credits chemistry and 30 credits drug-related courses.

For students taking the course as a single subject course it is required 150 credits, of which at least 60 credits 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 addiction, reward and adaptation mechanisms, risk- and protective factors, influence of genetic and environmental factors
  • describe pharmacological aspects on drugs of abuse; explain cellular mechanism of action, acute and chronic effects, toxic effects at overdosing, administration, distribution and metabolism of drugs
  • account for development of addiction, addiction patterns and withdrawal syndromes for drugs of abuse
  • account for pharmacological treatment of addiction and explain mechanisms of action, describe other therapies for addiction, and justify advantages and disadvantages with different treatment strategies
  • describe experimental models for studies of drug addiction and theoretically design trials to study effects of and addiction potential for drugs of abuse
  • analyse normal laboratory animal behaviour and identify drug effects by means of computer simulation
  • search, evaluate and analyse relevant scientific information about drugs of abuse and addiction and present the compiled information in an oral and written presentation using a proper terminology for the target audience


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 comprises lectures and seminars. The course includes essay writing and presentation and an exercise in observation and analysis of experimental behaviour.

Compulsory parts:

lectures, seminars, behavioural analysis, essay and, if included, study visits.


To achieve the overall grade pass for the course all compulsatory parts (examination codes) as well as the written exam (examination code) must be passed. The opportunity to complete any failed part of the course can only be arranged when the course is offered again and only if there are vacancies. The students' achievement is evaluated by goal-referenced assessment based on given criteria for different grades.

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the disability coordinator of the university.