73.300.31 - DRUGS AND SOCIETY
Tuesday and Thursday at 5:30 pm - 8:10 p.m.
Instructor: Jeffrey A. Schaler
Office: Ward 216
Telephone: (301) 585-5664 in Silver Spring, Md.
Office hours: (by appointment)
In this course we will examine current drug policy from three different points of view: Moralistic, medical, and "free-will" perspectives. The psychological effects of popular drug addiction treatment and prevention approaches will be compared and contrasted, especially in relation to their effects on self-concept and self-efficacy. Legal arguments based on the disease model of addiction will be discussed. The role of government in defining personal freedom and responsibility with regard to illegal drug use, as well as a critical analysis of drug legalization proposals, will also be addressed. Lecture and discussion format.
Course Requirements and Grades Debate - oral presentation 30% Debate - written submission 10% Class participation 10% Final examination 50% Total = 100%
Required Texts and Readings
Alexander, B.K. (1990). Peaceful measures: Canada's way out of the war on drugs. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Bakalar, J.B. and Grinspoon, L. (1984). Drug control in a free society. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Szasz, T.S. (1985). Ceremonial chemistry: The ritual persecution of drugs, addicts, and pushers. Holmes Beach, Florida: Learning Publications, Inc.
Peele, S., Brodsky, A. and Arnold, M. (1991). The truth about addiction and recovery. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Fingarette, H. (1988). Heavy drinking: The myth of alcoholism as a disease. Berkeley, Ca.: University of California Press.
Erickson, P.G., Adlaf, E.M., Murray, G.F., and Smart, R.G. (1987). The steel drug: Cocaine in perspective. Lexington, Mass.: Lexington Books.
Nadelmann, E.A. (1989). Drug prohibition in the United States: Costs, consequences, and alternatives. Science, 245, 939-947.
Robins, L.N., Helzer, J.E., and Davis, D.H. (1975) Narcotic use in southeast asia and afterwards. Archives of General Psychiatry, 32, 955-961.
A class debate will take place on Thursday, June 13. All students will participate by making a five-minute position statement, followed with rebuttal. You must submit a maximum one-page, single-spaced typed copy of your statement on the day of your presentation. Anything over one page will not be accepted. Your statement will be graded on the basis of clarity, communication, organization, audience contact, and logic. Your written statement will be included in a class collection of statements, which will be returned to you.
The topic to be debated is - "Resolved: All currently illegal drugs should be legalized." Half of the class will argue in support of this resolution, half of the class will argue against it.
Note: Clear and accurate writing will be taken into account in assigning grades, as well as participation in class discussions. Material discussed in class, and not in any of the readings, may form the basis for questions on the final examination. 5% grade reduction for over three class absences. One grade reduction for five 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.
Class Schedule Date Topic Reading May 14 Introduction, overview, film May 16 Addiction defined, models, Szasz synopsis, loss of control theory B. & G. 1-67 May 21 Historical directions, B. & G. 68-129. varieties of control May 23 The individual and the state Finish B. & G. May 28 A Canadian's-eye-view of the Alexander 1-94 American war-on-drugs May 30 Myths of drug use and addiction Alexander 95-128 June 4 Heroin and cocaine and Alexander 129 - 215 Freud and Gold June 6 Other drugs and addictions Alexander 216 - 291 June 11 Drug treatment and education Alexander 292 - 347 June 13 Debate June 18 Szasz's complaint: Szasz 1-121 Metaphors vs reality June 20 Freedom and responsibility: Szasz 125 - 181 Autonomy and intimacy June 25 Addiction and criminal responsibilty June 28 Final examination
© Copyright Jeffrey A. Schaler, 1997-2002 unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.