Department of Justice, Law and Society School of Public Affairs The American University Fall 1999 JLS-303 - DRUGS, ALCOHOL AND SOCIETY Wednesdays, 5:30 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. Ward 3 Faculty: Dr. Jeffrey A. Schaler firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.schaler.net Office: Dept. of Justice, Law, and Society, Ward Building, 2nd floor Telephone: (301) 585-5664 in Silver Spring, Md. Office hours: (by appointment) Course Description Most people believe alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs cause "addiction." Addiction is said to be characterized, in part, by involuntary behavior and "loss of control" over drug consumption. "Addicted" persons allegedly lose their ability to refuse "addictive" drugs and/or to moderate their consumption of those substances. History shows us that kind of thinking likely emerged from the anti-alcohol rhetoric of temperance-era leaders, the anti-alcohol attitudes instrumental in establishing alcohol prohibition, and the beliefs about alcohol advanced by members of Alcoholics Anonymous following repeal. Contemporary public health, clinical, and legal perspectives on legal and illegal drugs such as tobacco, alcohol, heroin, cocaine, and marijuana, etc., also tend to be based, in part, in the same temperance-era thinking, i.e., that those drugs are universally-addicting substances. The implications of these perspectives for personal and criminal responsibility for the consequences of legal- and illegal-drug use are significant and often contradictory. For example, recent attempts to regulate tobacco by the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are based in the ideas that nicotine is an addictive drug and that cigarettes are "nicotine-delivery systems." Thus, tobacco is now considered a "dangerous" drug. This is despite the fact most people quit smoking after many years or moderate their smoking for many years. Moreover, the widespread attempts by state attorneys general to hold tobacco companies liable for the health consequences of smoking are clearly based in the idea consumers were "tricked" into being "addicted" by the tobacco industry. Yet, many smokers say they choose to smoke despite the risks. In this course we examine the validity of those assumptions about addiction and their implications for public, clinical, and legal policy. In addition to learning about diverse explanatory models for addiction, we will examine in detail conflicting forms of treatment for addiction, the efficacy of treatment in general, First Amendment issues and court-ordered addiction treatment, addiction and criminal responsibility, Alcoholics Anonymous and religious-conversion experience, the use of mind- altering drugs as religious experience, and the ethics of general attempts to protect people from themselves advanced by today's "public health movement." Lecture and discussion format. Course Objectives 1. To improve the student's legal and policy-oriented thinking about the meaning of addiction and the foundation of behavior labeled as "addictive." 2. To evaluate the evidence supporting and contesting the idea that addiction exists, that it is characterized by involuntariness, and that it is treatable. 3. To understand what happens in voluntary and involuntary treatment for drug addiction. 4. To understand public policy, legal, philosophical and psychological perspectives on why people choose to use mind- altering drugs. 5. To evaluate the efficacy and constitutionality of diverse perspectives on, and policies for, alcohol, drug and tobacco use in contemporary society. 6. To examine the structure and function of the contemporary "public health movement." 7. To develop intellectual skill in debating these and related controversial issues in legal and public policy settings. Required Texts Schaler, J.A. and Schaler, M.E. (eds). (1998). Smoking: Who has the right? Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books. Schaler, J.A. (ed.) (1997). DRUGS: Should we legalize, decriminalize, or deregulate? Amherst, N.Y.: Prometheus Books. Szasz, T.S. (1992). Our right to drugs: The case for a free market. New York: Praeger Publishers. Course Requirements and Grades Position paper 15% Mid-term examination 35% Debate 10% Final examination 35% Class participation 5% Total = 100% Description of course requirements: Short position paper: Write a 5-page paper supporting drug prohibition, federal regulation of tobacco, and the idea addiction is a treatable disease. Your paper must not be longer than 5 pages. Disagree with all arguments supporting drug legalization and reform measures focused on decreasing prohibition. Discuss how drugs and drug use cause addiction and crime. Argue how the state has a legitimate and compelling interest in protecting people from themselves as well as from others. Use at least five references, which are to be listed separately on the sixth page. Use the reference format presented in the required readings section of this syllabus. You may not quote more than two lines of other material. If you quote more than two lines your grade on the paper will automatically drop by one letter grade. Paraphrase material in your own words. Cite any author you are referring to this way (Schaler, 1997). Do not list any material in the reference section that is not cited in the text of your paper. The paper must be double-spaced, typewritten with font size no larger than 12 points, margins no larger than 1 inch. Your spelling must be accurate. You must use complete sentences and proper paragraphs. Your paper should be organized with an introduction, review of issues, discussion and conclusion. Mid-term examination: The mid-term examination will consist of essay questions focused on all readings and discussion in class. Debate: A debate topic will be assigned by Dr. Schaler. Participation in the debate is mandatory. You will be assigned a position to defend in the debate. First you will deliver a formal debate statement. After everyone has done so, you are expected to argue and debate the topic. The length of the formal oral statement will be determined by the professor based on the number of students in the class. You will be given ample time to meet with your team during several classes before the debate in order to plan your presentation accordingly. Final examination: The final examination will consist of essay questions focused on all of the material covered in this course. You will be given the opportunity to express your own point of view on the many controversial issues we addressed. --> Clear and accurate writing will be taken into account in assigning grades, as well as participation in class discussions. Material discussed in class, or in films, and not in any of the readings, may form the basis for questions on the examinations. One grade reduction for over three class absences. Students are responsible for anything covered in class during their absence. Readings must be completed by the session to which they are assigned. Additional readings may be assigned during the course. Students are encouraged to form study groups on their own. The examinations must be taken on the dates assigned. Grades: A-=90, B+=89, B-=80, C+=79, C-=70, etc. If you're having trouble with this course make an appointment to talk about it. CLASS SCHEDULE Date Topic Reading September 1 Introduction: Lecture The Drug Policy Problem Schaler Opium, Cocaine, and Marijuana in American History Part I Just Say "No" to Legalization Parts II & III Medical Marijuana: What Counts Part IV As Medicine? September 8 Drug War Metaphors and Addictions: Part V Drugs Are Property Addiction Is A Behavior: Part VI The Myth of Loss of Control Do Drugs Cause Crime? Part VII (First position paper due) September 15 State-supported and Court-ordered Part VIII Treatment for Addiction; The Power of Self-fulfilling Prophecies September 22 Smoking: Introduction; Tobacco Schaler & Use and Regulation and Regulation Schaler September 29 For the Public's Health Part II October 6 Liberty at Stake Part III October 13 Mid-term examination October 20 Intro; The American Ambivalence Szasz II October 27 The Fear We Favor Ch. III November 3 Drug Education Ch. IV November 10 The Debate on Drugs Debate I Ch. V November 17 Blacks and Drugs Debate II Ch. VI November 24 No Class -- Thanksgiving Read Doctors and Drugs Ch. VII December 1 Between Dread and Desire Ch. VIII December 8 Contemporary issues and review December 15 Final exam 5:30 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. Debate topic: I am defending the Pro Con Team #: Team members: Academic Integrity Code "Standards of academic conduct are set forth in the University's Academic Integrity Code. It is expected that all examinations, tests, written papers, and other assignments will be completed according to the standards set forth in this code. By registering, you have acknowledged your awareness of the Academic Integrity Code, and you are obliged to become familiar with your rights and responsibilities as defined by the Code. Violations of the Academic Integrity Code will not be treated lightly, and disciplinary action will be taken should such violations occur. Please see me if you have any questions about the academic violations described in the Code in general or as they relate to particular requirements for this course."
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