LSPS 5133 - Substance Abuse Prevention Across the Lifespan
Why is it cool?
Substance abuse is an escalating problem in modern culture, and the toll it takes on society can be seen in healthcare and correctional facilities nationwide. In 2014, the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse estimated that 27 million Americans ages 12 or older were current users of illicit drugs. Preventing and finding effective treatment for substance abuse at this scale can be difficult not only because of the nature of addiction, but because of the different effects it has on individuals throughout the course of their lives.
This class is cool because it addresses how individuals encounter and respond to drug abuse differently at various stages of life. The students begin by learning about lifespan issues. This includes theories of human growth and development, as well as brain development. Then, students discover the impact of substances on the brain at various stages throughout the developmental process, including transition periods and strategies to address service provision issues.
This course places special emphasis on current prevention efforts, needs and trends. Students are also asked to consider how these might be improved for populations not currently served by prevention programming—this is truly a class that can help the guide the prevention field toward the future!
At the end of the course, students will have a better understanding of prevention theory and the future of prevention and prevention science. They will be empowered to view individual and community prevention with a “lifespan” approach and, most importantly, will be able to use the knowledge they gain for the rest of their lives.