Psychology 2020A 650 SU24

Drugs & Behaviour

If there is a discrepancy between the outline posted below and the outline posted on the OWL course website, the latter shall prevail.


Western University 

London                   Canada 


Department of Psychology 

Summer 2024 

Psychology 2020    Section 650 


Drugs & Behaviour 



1 Calendar Description 


Survey of the major drugs of abuse, including alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, opiates, stimulants, inhalants, and sedative-hypnotics. Discussion will focus on historical and current patterns of use and abuse, behavioural and psychological effects of acute and chronic use, psychological processes involved in drug effects, neurochemical bases for action, and treatment issues. 

 Extra Information: 3 lecture hours. 


Antirequisites: n/a 

Prerequisites: n/a 

3 lecture hours; Course Weight: 0.5 


Unless you have either the prerequisites for this course or written special permission from your Dean to enrol in it, you may be removed from this course and it will be deleted from your record. This decision may not be appealed. You will receive no adjustment to your fees in the event that you are dropped from a course for failing to have the necessary prerequisites. 


2 Course Information 


Instructor: Dr. John Campbell  

Office and Phone Number:  SSC 7415  

Office Hours: TBD  



Time and Location of Classes: Online course. Asynchronous 


For courses that include an online component, students must have a reliable internet connection and computer that are compatible with online learning system requirements.  



3 Course Materials 


Drugs, Behaviour & Modern Society, First Canadian Edition 

Charles F. Levinthal, Hofstra University 



4 Course Objectives and Learning Outcomes 


The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of the major drugs of use and abuse. Concepts pertinent to Drugs and Behaviour in general will be presented first (factors for drug-taking behaviour, methods of administration, nervous system basics, basic pharmacological concepts, pharmacological research, and physiological & psychological basis of drug dependence). This will be followed by an overview of both the historical & current trends and patterns of use, regulation, and the neurochemical basis of effects on the brain and behaviour for specific drug categories. 


Learning Outcome  

Learning Activity  


Depth and Breadth of Knowledge.  

Recognize and identify major drugs of abuse when they are discussed texts, news, public forums. 

Online lectures, Ted talks and other videos, online demonstrations 

Midterm exams and final exams 

Knowledge of Methodologies.  

Recognize and identify major concepts related to drug addiction and the treatment of drug addiction.  

Online lectures, Ted talks and other videos, online demonstrations and activities 

Midterm exams and final exams 

Application of Knowledge.  

Identifying how this knowledge can be utilized to change our behaviours as they pertain to the use of drugs and how are bodies interact with different drugs.  

Online demonstrations and activities 

Midterm exams and final exams 

Communication Skills.  

Recognize and identify major experimental procedures related to the study of drug addiction               


Online lectures, videos, activities 

Midterm exams and final exams 

Awareness of Limits of Knowledge. 

Recognizing the limitations of research in the field of drug use and addiction over the years and questions that remain on the topics covered.  

Online lectures, videos, activities 

Midterm exams and final exams 

Autonomy and Professional Capacity. 

Compare, classify, and interpret information about drugs and drug addiction as presented in texts, news, media or public forums. 

Online lectures, videos, activities 

Midterm exams and final exams 




5 Evaluation 


The evaluation and testing formats for this course were created to assess the learning objectives as listed in section 4.0 and are considered necessary for meeting these learning objectives. 


Grades in this course will be based on three online synchronous exams. The exams will consist of a combination of multiple-choice and fill in the blank questions. Students are responsible for material assigned in the textbook, as well as material covered in lectures.  The First Exam (May 29), worth 30% of the final grade, will cover material from May 8 through May 25.  The Second Exam (June 26), worth 30% of the final grade, will cover material from June 1 - 22.  The Final Exam, worth 40% of the final grade, will cover material from July 3 through July 26. 


All exams will be online via OWL and the questions will be randomized as well as the answer choices. All the exams will be “linear” in nature, meaning you can NOT return to questions you have already answered. This is done to try and limit collaboration between students during the exams. Online exam tools will be used to analyse response patterns to monitor potential inappropriate student collaboration during the exams. 


Policy on Missing Coursework 


If you miss an exam and have an excuse documented by the academic counselling office in your home faculty, you will be offered a make-up exam time. Please note that make-up exams may consist, in part or exclusively, of essay, short-answer, fill-in-the-blank, and/or multiple-choice items.    


Grades will be posted to the course web site as soon as possible after each exam. 


The Psychology Department follows Western’s grading guidelines: 


The expectation for course grades within the Psychology Department is that they will be distributed around the following averages: 


70% 1000-level to 2099-level courses 

72% 2100-2999-level courses 

75% 3000-level courses 

80% 4000-level courses 


In the event that course grades are significantly higher or lower than these averages, instructors may be required to make adjustments to course grades. Such adjustment might include the normalization of one or more course components and/or the re-weighting of various course components. 


Policy on Grade Rounding 


Please note that although course grades within the Psychology Department are rounded to the nearest whole number, no further grade rounding will be done. No additional assignments will be offered to enhance a final grade; nor will requests to change a grade because it is needed for a future program be considered.  


6 Assessment/Evaluation Schedule 



Date % of final grade Material covered 

Exam 1 May 29 30% May 8 through May 28 

Exam 2 June 26 35% June 5 through June 25 

Exam 3 Aug Exams 35% July 3  through July 23 


7 Class Schedule 




Topic(s) to be covered 

Reading (s) 


May 8 


Ch 1  


May 15 

How drugs work 

Ch 2 


May 22 

Biological basis of drug addiction 


Ch 3 

Ch 4 


May 29 

EXAM 1 (30%) 

Ch 1 - 4 


June 5 




Ch 5 & 6 


June 12 


Ch 7 


June 19 


Ch 8 

Ch 9 


June 26 

EXAM 2 (30%) 

Ch 5 - 9 


July 3 



Ch 13 


July 10 


Ch 12 


July 17 



Medicinal drugs 


Ch 10 

Ch 15 


July 23 

Substance Abuse Treatment 


Ch 16 




Final Exam (40%) 

Ch 10, 12, 13, 15, 16 


8 Academic Integrity  


Scholastic offences are taken seriously, and students are directed to read the appropriate policy, specifically, the definition of what constitutes a Scholastic Offence, at the following Web site: 


Possible penalties for a scholastic offence include failure of the assignment/exam, failure of the course, suspension from the University, and expulsion from the University. 


Statement on Use of Electronic Devices 



Plagiarism Detection Software 


All required papers may be subject to submission for textual similarity review to the commercial plagiarism detection software under license to the University for the detection of plagiarism.  All papers submitted for such checking will be included as source documents in the reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of papers subsequently submitted to the system. Use of the service is subject to the licensing agreement, currently between Western and 


Use of AI 


The use of generative AI tools such as ChatGPT to produce written work is not permitted unless permission is granted by the instructor for specific circumstances. Any work submitted must be the work of the student in its entirety unless otherwise disclosed. When used, AI tools should be used ethically and responsibly, and students must cite or credit the tools used in line with the expectation to use AI as a tool to learn, not to produce content. 


Multiple Choice Exams  


Computer-marked multiple-choice tests and/or exams will be subject to submission for similarity review by software that will check for unusual coincidences in answer patterns that may indicate cheating. 


Exam Proctoring Software 


Tests and examinations for online courses may be conducted using a remote proctoring service. More information about this remote proctoring service, including technical requirements, is available on Western’s Remote  

Proctoring website at: 


Personal Response Systems (“Clickers”) 


In classes that involve the use of a personal response system, data collected will only be used in a manner consistent to that described in this outline. It is the instructor’s responsibility to make every effort to ensure that data remain confidential. However, students should be aware that as with all forms of electronic communication, privacy is not guaranteed. 


9 Academic Accommodations and Accessible Education 


View Western’s policy on academic accommodations for student with disabilities at this link. 


Accessible Education provides supports and services to students with disabilities at Western. 

If you think you may qualify for ongoing accommodation that will be recognized in all your courses, visit Accessible Education for more information.  Email:  Phone: 519 661-2147 


10 Absence & Academic Consideration 


View Western’s policy on academic consideration for medical illnesses this link 


Find your academic counsellor here: 


Students must see the Academic Counsellor and submit all required documentation in order to be approved for certain academic considerations. Students must communicate with their instructors no later than 24 hours after the end of the period covered SMC, or immediately upon their return following a documented absence. 


Medical Absences 


Submit a Student Medical Certificate (SMC) signed by a licensed medical or mental health practitioner to Academic Counselling in your Faculty of registration to be eligible for Academic Consideration. 


Nonmedical Absences 


Submit appropriate documentation (e.g., obituary, police report, accident report, court order, etc.) to Academic Counselling in your Faculty of registration to be eligible for academic consideration. Students are encouraged to contact their Academic Counselling unit to clarify what documentation is appropriate. 


Religious Consideration 


Students seeking accommodation for religious purposes are advised to contact Academic Counselling at least three weeks prior to the religious event and as soon as possible after the start of the term. 


11 Other Information  



Students who are in emotional/mental distress should refer to Health and Wellness@Western for a complete list of options about how to obtain help. 

Please contact the course instructor if you require material in an alternate format or if you require any other arrangements to make this course more accessible to you.  


If you wish to appeal a grade, please read the policy documentation at: Please first contact the course instructor. If your issue is not resolved, you may make your appeal in writing to the Undergraduate Chair in Psychology ( 


Copyright Statement  


Lectures and course materials, including power point presentations, outlines, videos and similar materials, are protected by copyright. You may take notes and make copies of course materials for your own educational use. You may not record lectures, reproduce (or allow others to reproduce), post or distribute any course materials publicly and/or for commercial purposes without the instructor’s written consent. 


12 Land Acknowledgement 


We acknowledge that Western University is located on the traditional territories of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Lūnaapéewak, and Chonnonton. Nations, on lands connected with the London Township and Sombra Treaties of 1796 and the Dish with One Spoon Covenant Wampum. This land continues to be home to diverse Indigenous Peoples (First Nations, Métis and Inuit) whom we recognize as contemporary stewards of the land and vital contributors of our society.