INSTRUCTOR:
Kathy Morgan
OFFICE HOURS:
T,Th, 3:30-4:30pm
  kmorgan@wheatonma.edu
SC 152*, ext. 3934
or by appointment
*I am most often found in the vicinity of the Science Center!
TEXTBOOKS
Required:
1). Levinthal, C.F. (2002). Drugs, Behavior, ane Modern Society, 3rd Edition. Boston, MA: Allyn and Bacon
2). Courtwright, D.T. (2001). Forces of Habit. Boston, MA: Harvard University Press 
Additional readings in the form of handouts, web-based articles, news articles, or other material may sometimes be required.

I will also try to arrange for a copy of the texts to be placed on 2-hr reserve at the library.

 

Overview and Course Objectives:

Since the earliest recorded writings of human beings, there is evidence of psychoactive drug use. Every major culture and every major religion has a history of drug use as part of it. This course is intended as an introduction to the study of drug use, abuse, and addiction, with a focus on recreationally used drugs. To accomplish this introduction, we will take a variety of approaches, from the molecular level of reviewing neurochemical methods of drug action, to the more molar level of considering the consequences of drug use for society Specifically, I hope to help you, the student, become an educated consumer of information about psychoactive substances.

We will investigate drug use and drug actions by drawing from scientific investigations of their use. We will also consider the social and policy issues that arise from having behaviorally active drugs widely available. Accordingly, our coverage must span a range of topics including drug actions on the nervous system, elementary principles of pharmacology, therapeutic use of behaviorally active drugs, drug abuse and its treatment, and social policy.

If you make satisfactory progress in this course, then by the end of the semester you should:

NOTE: This course is cross-listed with the Biology Department, and meets the 200-level non-lab requirement for the Biology major.

Other Course Goals: In addition to the specific goals listed above, this course also has 2 broad goals, described in turn below:

1. Our species has recently entered the 21st century--what some might call "The Age of Technology." To compete in this new century, you need to be computer-literate: to know how to use a word processor, a spreadsheet, electronic mail, the "world-wide web." One of my objectives in this course is to help you to become familiar with computer technologies, so that you are ready for the coming century! Improving your computer literacy is one of the goals of Morgan's PSY/BIO 227. Thus you will be asked to use an electronic bulletin board for some class assignments, and to make use of resources (including this syllabus) posted on the World Wide Web.

2. As a college graduate, you will be expected to be a good thinker. Good thinking is essential for you to be an effective citizen of this planet, and especially for you to be an informed consumer of information in the era of hypermedia (and hype!) And boy is there ever hype about the subject of this course--licit and illicit drugs! A second set of goals for this course, then, includes improving your critical reasoning through plenty of practice. You'll be expected to think critically and objectively about the material that is presented in class or in the readings.

Course Expectations: This course meets in 2, 80-minute periods per week. At Wheaton College, the institution expects you to put in 2 to 3 hours of work outside of classtime for each 50-minute period that you spend in class. Thus, in order to make satisfactory progress in this course, you should be spending a minimum of 6 hours a week on the material--reading, writing, reviewing your notes. If you wait until the last minute to do this work, (say, until the weekend of the first exam), then you will have 12 hours of work to do before you even attempt the exam. Don't make this mistake. College should be your full-time job (that is why we are a residential college, and why we don't allowstudents to work on campus more

than part-time). If you don't treat it that way, you're wasting your time and money. Take all that you can get from here! And that especially includes KNOWLEDGE!! If you are not being asked to work this much in any of your other courses, you are probably not getting what you are paying for. Demand more from your professors. It's your future that you're paying for now. Be sure to get what you pay for!

Other Expectations. I expect you at all times to treat me, your fellow students, and the topics and people that we study with respect. For example, I expect you to abide by and uphold the Wheaton Honor Code. I expect you to be quiet in class unless called on to answer or ask a question. Often the material in this course elicits some strong emotional responses from students; I expect you at all times to honor the privacy of your classmates. And I expect you to provide me with due notice if you are unable to complete an assignment or exam on time. Failure to appear at work or late arrival to a job without a prior warning is grounds for dismissal in the real world. I expect you to extend to me the same courtesy that you owe to an employer. I also reserve the right to refuse acceptance of late exams or assignments of any kind, at my discretion.

Similarly, I promise to treat you with respect as responsible adults. I promise to do my best to answer all of your questions and respond to all of your suggestions so that we can be effective partners in learning. Please let me know either in person or through the suggestion box if there is any way that I can help to improve your learning in this course.

Class Bulletin Board: For this class, you are required to subscribe to a class electronic bulletin board, DrugsnBeh. To subscribe to the list, send an email message to listserv@listserv.wheatonma.edu, and under subject heading, type "subscribe DrugsnBeh." Leave the body of the message blank. You should receive a confirmation message back to which you have to reply in order to complete the subscription. We will be using this list to have class discussions, to post reminders of assignment due dates, and as a site for homework submissions. Thus, you will need to get in a habit of checking your email at least once a day, if you do not already do so. You can subscribe to the class list right now by clicking here.

If you do not have an email account, or are unsure of how to use it, please see the folks in the Kollett Academic Computing Center right away.

Grading: Course grade is based on a combination of quizzes, homework, and exams, weighted in the following manner:

 TASK

 EACH ONE WORTH

 TOTAL POINTS

 PERCENT

 Three In-class Exams

 60pts.

 180 pts.

 36%

Six  Homeworks

 20 pts

120 pts.

 24%

 Final Exam

 200 pts.

200 pts.

 40%

 TOTAL

 

 500 pts.

 100%

 

Exams: Your exam grade will be based in part on the number of points that you earn in 4 noncummulative in-class exams of equivelent weight, and one cummulative final exam. Exam questions will cover material from the texts, from any additional required reading or guest lectures, from films and videotapes seen in class, from email discussions, homeworkds and other webpage assignments, and from lecture material. There will be some lecture material that will not be available in the text, and similarly, I will not review all of the text material in class. None-the-less you will be held responsible for all information presented, no matter what the format.

Grading is non-competitive, and students are encouraged to study and discuss materials together. However, any work turned in must be yours and yours alone.

Homeworks. As part of your requirements for this course, you will be asked to do some homeworks, most of which involve accessing or searching for material on the World-Wide Web. In most cases, your homework is to be posted to the class electronic bulletin board, so that it can be used for email discussion. You will find more detail on each of the homeworks on the PSY 227 Homework Page. NOTE: Homework assignments are due by 2pm, classtime, on the dates that they are assigned. No homework submitted after that time will be accepted.

Homeworks will be graded on how thoughtful, creative, complete, informative, and accurate they are. Failure to turn in a homework assignment on time will result in zero points for that homework. A homework assignment that shows little evidence of anything beyond skimming the assigned material will receive a "C" grade or lower. "B's" and "A's" will be reserved for work that shows more thoughtfulness and effort.

Plagiarism: Charges of plagiarism will be taken very seriously in this course. Consult the Wheaton Honor Code for an operational definition of plagiarism. Materials submitted that are deemed to be plagiaristic will receive a score of zero. Additional violations will result in a grade of "F" for the course.

The Suggestion Box: Most every day I bring with me to class a box into which you may place your suggestions, comments, or questions. Please take advantage of the opportunity to ask me about things that you didn't get a chance to in class, or to suggest a particular exercise or comment on a particular class day. The suggestion box allows your queries to be anonymous. However, please feel free also to ask questions and start discussions on our electronic bulletin board, DrugsnBeh.

What do I have to do to get an "A?"

Grades will be assigned on the following basis:

 100% or more A+  87-89% B+  77-79% C+  67-69% D+
 94-99% A  84-86% B  74-76% C  64-66% D
 90-93% A-  80-83% B- 70-73% C-   60-63% D-
 <60% F

 

The following criteria will be used to grade more subjective assignments:

I. "A" Work: work of consistently high standard, showing distinction in such qualities as organization, accuracy, originality, understanding, insight.

II. "B" Work: Work that is decidedly above average. "B" grades generally imply that the student: a) exceeds average requirements, b) is usually alert and active in class discussions and gives evidence of some critical attitude and good judgement, c) exercises noticeable care in preparing assignments, and gives evidence of doing some independent reading, d) is eager to learn and willing to profit from direction and criticism, e) has some ability to transfer the general principles of the course to other situations.

III. "C" Work: Work that fulfills essential requirements in quality and quantity, and meets the acceptable minimum standard for satisfactory progress at Wheaton College. A "C" grade of some kind implies that the student: a) performs the required assignments regularly from day to day, b). is attentive during class and gives adequate answers, c). is usually careful, neat, and accurate in all work, d) masters the facts of general significance, e). uses at least occasionally material from preceeding sources, when appropriate, but needs additional assistance.

IV. "D" Work: Work that falls below the minimum standard acceptable for satisfactory progress at Wheaton College.

V. "F" Work: Work that is unsatisfactory.

The instructor reserves the right to grade on a curve if the class distribution requires it.

Materials That You Will Need for This Class:

For this course, you will need an email account that you check regularly. You will also need to bring something to write with every day. From time to time, you may be asked to complete a brief "Minute Quiz" in class, or to conduct some other exercise that requires you to write. So bring plenty of your favorite writing implements!

You will find that I give many many MANY handouts. Thus, you might want to get a large 3-ring binder in which to keep your notes for this class. Get one of those composition notebooks for your notes that have holes punched in them to allow them to be placed in a 3-ring binder. That way, you can keep your notes and handouts all together.

CLASS SCHEDULE

*Levinthal Text: abbreviated "L" below; Courtwright Text: abbreviated "C"

 DAY

 DATE

 TOPIC

 *READING

 ASSIGNED HOMEWORK

 DUE THAT DAY

 
T
 
29-Jan

 Introduction to the course
What is a drug?
"Altered States"

 L, Ch. 1

 Homework 1

 nothing

 
Th
 
31- Jan

Drug-Taking Behavior

L, Ch. 2

none  

nothing

 
T
 
5-Feb
Some Basic Pharmacology

L, Ch. 3

Homework 2 

 Homework 1

 
Th
 
7- Feb

Behavioral Analysis of Drug Effects

 --

 none

nothing

 
T
 
12-Feb

 Your Brain on Drugs:
The Nervous System and Synaptic Physiology

 L, Ch. 3

 Homework 3

 Homework 2

 
Th
 
14-Feb

 (Happy Valentine's Day!)
Synaptic Physiology, contin.

 L, Ch. 3

 Prepare for first exam, get exam essays

 nothing

T
19-Feb

 Explaining Drug Use:
Dependence and Addiction

 L, Ch. 10;

C, Ch. 1

none

nothing  

 
Th
 
21-Feb

Guest Speaker:
Kathy Mitchell
National Spokesperson on Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

L, Ch. 10

 none

 Homework 3

T
26-Feb

 Addiction, contin.

 

none

 nothing

 
Th
28-Feb

FIRST EXAM

--

 none

 Exam Essays

T
5-Mar
Prevention and Treatment Strategies

 L, Ch. 17-18

Homework 4

 nothing

 
Th
 
7-Mar

The CNS Stimulants

 L, Ch. 4;

C, Ch. 2

 none

 nothing

 
T
 
12-Mar
  This is your brain on the beach!
 
Th
 
14-Mar

 SPRING BREAK!

 Enjoy!

 
T
 
19-Mar

Caffeine and Nicotine;

"Pack of Lies"

L, Ch. 12;

C, Ch. 3

Homework 5

 Homework 4

 
Th
 
21-Mar

Cocaine

L, Ch. 4;

C, Ch. 4

 Prepare for 3rd exam, get exam essays

 nothing

 
T
 
26-Mar

The CNS Depressants Alcohol

L, Ch. 15

none

 nothing

 
Th
 
28-Mar

Alcohol

 L, Ch. 9;

C, Ch. 5

none

 Homework 5

 
T
 
2-April

Glues, Solvents, and Inhalants

  L, Ch. 13

none

 nothing

 
Th
 
4-April

The Narcotics

 L, Ch. 5;

C, Ch 6

Read De Quincey's "Confessions of an Opium Eater"
Prepare for 2nd exam, get exam essays

 Read this 1892 article on the dangers of opium

 
T
 
9-April

SECOND EXAM

----

none

 Exam Essays

 
Th
 
11-April

 The Hallucinogens

 L, Ch. 6;

C, Ch. 7

 none

 nothing

 
T
 
16-April

 Marijuana

 L, Ch. 7;

C, Ch. 8

 none

 nothing

 
Th
 
18-April

Anabolic Steroids

and Over-The Counter Drugs

 L, Ch. 8, 14

 none

 nothing

 
T
 
23-April

 Drugs and Mental Illness

 L., Ch. 15-16

Homework 6

 nothing

 
Th
 
25-April

 Drugs and Society;

"Throwaway People"

 C, Ch. 9

 none

 nothing

 
T
 
30-April

 Drugs and the Law

 C, Ch. 10

 Prepare for 3rd Exam, get exam essays

 Homework 6

 
Th
 
2-May

 THIRD EXAM

 n/a

 none

 Exam Essays

FINAL
EXAM
 SELF-SCHEDULED  DURING  FINALS  WEEK

 

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