GRCP 630 - FOUNDATIONS OF ADDICTIVE BEHAVIORS
Wednesdays 7:15 - 10:00 PM
St. Joseph's Hall, Room 246
Faculty: Jeffrey A. Schaler, Ph.D.
Telephone: (215) 402-0268
Office hours: (by appointment)
From the CHC catalogue: "Surveys theories and research in the field of addiction. Covers substance abuse as well as models of addiction applied to eating disorders, gambling and sexual promiscuity."
Most people believe alcohol and illegal drugs cause addiction. They believe addiction is involuntary and characterized by "loss of control" over alcohol and drug consumption. They believe some people are biologically predisposed to addictive behavior. They also believe addiction is a treatable disease. If you challenge those ideas, you are likely to be labeled ignorant at best and a heretic at worst. In this course you will comprehend the fiction about addiction masquerading as fact, and the fact about addiction most people regard as fiction.
In the first part of the course we review the substantial empirical evidence showing people use drugs to change their consciousness for existential and psychological reasons, not necessarily chemical or biological ones. And we investigate the claim addiction is a treatable disease.
In the second half of the course we look at the religio-moral-ethical basis of drug use We review how mind-altering drugs and their users are victims of religious and political persecution. And, drawing on philosophical, psychoanalytic, sociological, and psychological perspectives, we investigate the existential basis of why people choose to use drugs as a way to try and escape reality.
Lecture and discussion format.
Berger, L.S. (1991). Substance abuse as symptom: A psychoanalytic critique of treatment approaches and the cultural beliefs that sustain them. Hillsdale, N.J.: The Analytic Press.
Erickson, P.G., Adlaf, E.M., Murray, G.F., and Smart, R.G. (1987). The steel drug: Cocaine in perspective. Lexington, MA.: Lexington Books.
Fingarette, H. (1988). Heavy drinking: The myth of alcoholism as a disease. Berkeley, Ca. Univ. of Ca. Press
Peele, S. (1985). The meaning of addiction: Compulsive experience and its interpretation. Lexington, MA.: Lexington Books.
Schaler, J.A. (1991). Drugs and free will. Society, 28, 42-49.
Schaler, J.A. (1996). Thinking about drinking: The power of self-fulfilling prophecies. International Journal of Drug Policy, 7, 187-192.
Schaler, J.A. (1997). The case against alcoholism as a disease. In W. Shelton R.B. Edwards (Eds.) Values, ethics, and alcoholism, pp. 21-49 (Advances in Bioethics Volume 3) Greenwich, Ct.: JAI Press Inc.
Szasz, T. (1985). Ceremonial chemistry: The ritual
persecution of drugs, addicts, and pushers.
Revised edition. Holmes Beach, Fl.: Learning
Course Requirements and Grades Mid-term examination 30% Position paper 20% Final examination 45% Class participation 5% Total = 100%
Position paper: Four typewritten pages max. You are to write about how your views on drugs and consciousness have changed or not changed since you've been in this class.
CLASS SCHEDULE Date Topic Reading January 21 Addiction defined Peele + Schaler Models of addiction Key issues in addiction January 28 Etiology of addiction Finish Peele Addiction to experience February 4 Heavy drinking Fingarette (all) February 11 Research on cocaine Erickson, Part I History February 18 What we now know about cocaine (and heroin) Finish Erickson February 25 Mid-term Examination Essay March 4 Spring Break - no class March 11 Psychoanalysis ~* Berger Part I Compulsive Drug Use March 18 Understanding addiction Finish Berger through treatment March 25 Pharmakos: The scapegoat Szasz ix-60 April 1 Medicine as magic Szasz 61-124 April 8 Easter break April 15 Medicine and social control: Finish The ethics of addiction Szasz April 22 Unanswered questions new directions in addiction studies April 29 Final Examination Essay
* 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 read-ings, 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. Grades: A-=90, B+=89, B-=80, C+=79, C-=70
© Copyright Jeffrey A. Schaler, 1997-2002 unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.