Jeffrey A. Schaler, Ph.D.

Department of Justice, Law and Society
School of Public Affairs
The American University

Summer 1991
Tuesday and Thursday at 5:30 pm - 8:10 p.m.
Ward 221A

Instructor: Jeffrey A. Schaler
Office: Ward 216
Telephone: (301) 585-5664 in Silver Spring, Md.
Office hours: (by appointment)

Course Description

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 Objectives

  1. To familiarize students with past and current theoretical terms and concepts in the drug field, the methods used to research these concepts, and the applications of the concepts in the clinical, legal and policymaking settings.
  2. To understand the ideological, economic, and political investments integral to perspectives on illegal drug use.
  3. To learn how to evaluate drug addiction prevention and treatment program effectiveness.
  4. To develop an awareness of the relationship between the individual and the state in terms of moral conduct with regard to illegal drug use.

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.

Recommended Readings
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.

Class Debate

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