Health, Social Disadvantage and Substance Abuse


Drug and alcohol misuse is recognised as a major public health issue in Australia. The course will investigate the social context, and competing theories about and explanations of the pattern and significance of drug and alcohol misuse in contemporary industrial society. Health and other government policies, legal aspects, pathophysiology and the use of particular substances will be studied together with evidence-based health care and treatment.


Port Macquarie Nth Coast Inst

  • Semester 1 - 2016


  • Semester 1 - 2016


  • Semester 1 - 2016

Learning Outcomes

1. Describe theories of the cause of substance use and dependence;

2. Discuss contemporary sociological theory relating to drug and alcohol misuse;

3. Discuss Australian health policies and initiatives on substance use and dependence in their international context;

4. Demonstrate knowledge of Australian law relating to substance use;

5. Demonstrate knowledge of pathophysiology of selected drugs;

6. Outline evidence based treatment strategies related to the misuse of alcohol and other drugs;

7. Critically analyse strategies used in drug education and health promotion.


  • Substance use and misuse
  • Social Policy in Australia
  • International perspectives
  • Laws in relation to drug and alcohol misuse
  • Legal substance misuse
  • Illicit drug misuse
  • Drug withdrawal
  • Evidence-based practice in relation to drug and alcohol misuse
  • Evidence-based strategies in relation to drug and alcohol education
  • Evidence-based strategies in relation to health promotion

Assessment Items

Online Learning Activity: Drug and Alcohol Assessment plus 4 online tutorial postings

Online Learning Activity: Sociology Essay plus 3 online tutorial postings

Quiz: Module 1 and 2, Online Quiz

Contact Hours

Port Macquarie Nth Coast Inst, Ourimbah and Callaghan


Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for 7 Weeks

Note: There will be a 2 hour face to face Lecture The remainder of lectures and all tutorials will be held online