Drugs and Dependence

7.5 credits

Syllabus, Master's level, 3FF206

Education cycle
Second cycle
Main field(s) of study and in-depth level
Drug Management A1N, Pharmaceutical Sciences A1N
Grading system
Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
Finalised by
The Educational Board of Pharmacy, 25 August 2022
Responsible department
Department of Pharmaceutical Biosciences

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

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


To achieve the overall grade pass for the course all compulsatory parts (1,5 credits) as well as the written exam (6 credits) 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 University's disability coordinator.

Other directives

Substitutes and corresponds to 3FF020 or 3FF505, Drug dependence, advanced level C.