Course Catalog



The aims of this course are threefold: 1) to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms of action of psychoactive drugs, 2) to understand the facts and theories underlying the use of drugs in the treatment of neurobehavioral ("mental") and neurological disorders, and 3) to understand the processes of addiction and the properties of drugs of use/abuse. The course focuses first on the fundamental aspects of neurochemical activity in the brains of normal individuals, then on each of the major neurotransmitters, related neurological diseases and/or "mental" disorders, and the major drugs that act on each particular neurotransmitter system. The student should gain 1) an understanding of why pharmacological approaches to therapy are used, how they work, and relevant side effects, and 2) an understanding of the pharmacodynamics of substances of abuse. For the clinician, this understanding should permit informed management of future clients who are dependent on the use of psychoactive compounds.

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