Course ObjectiveStudents will obtain insight in the neurobiological, clinical and
societal aspects of drug addiction and critically
discuss and evaluate a current hot topic in addiction
Course ContentHow does the brain respond to drugs? Why do people become addicted? And
how does addiction impact your life?
Addiction is the most widely occurring psychiatric disorder, which
continues to extract enormous human and financial costs on our western
society. The central feature of drug addiction is compulsive drug use,
i.e. loss of control over apparently voluntary acts of drug seeking and
drug taking. Currently, the leading view on addiction is that repeated
drug consumption by vulnerable individuals (genotype) causes compulsive
drug-seeking behaviour (phenotype) due to long-lasting neurobiological
changes in the brain. Unfortunately, available treatments are as yet
inadequate for most people and the risk of relapse
to active drug use remains very high (80-90%), even after extended
periods of abstinence. Against this background, the course will allow
students to become familiar with the epidemiology, psychology,
neurobiology, psychopharmacology and therapy of addiction with
a focus on drug addiction as well as compulsive gambling. Political and
of addictive behaviour will also be addressed. Visits to treatment
centers are part of the course.
Teaching MethodsLectures, workshops, site-visits and self-tuition
Method of AssessmentIndividual essay which accounts for 70% of final mark and written mid-
term exam which accounts for 30% of final mark.
LiteraturePrimary literature: links to scientific papers will be provided in
Target Audience3rd year bachelor Health Sciences and related bachelor programmes
Additional InformationCourse coordinators:
Dr. L. Diergaarde, department of Anatomy and Neurosciences,
VU university medical center
Dr. T. Pattij, department of Anatomy and Neurosciences, VU university
Various teachers from within our university and guest lecturers from
other universities and institutes will provide lectures in the course.
Dit vak is onderdeel van een minor en heeft een maximaal aantal
deelnemers. Studenten die de hele minor doen, hebben voorrang.
Custom Course RegistrationDue to limited number of places available for the site-visits to treatment centers, preregistration for participation in the site-visits may be required. Information for this registration procedure will be posted on Canvas.
Recommended background knowledgeBasic neuroscience knowledge
|Language of Tuition||English|
|Faculty||Faculty of Science|
|Course Coordinator||dr. T. Pattij|
|Examiner||dr. T. Pattij|
dr. T. Pattij
dr. L. Diergaarde
You need to register for this course yourself
Last-minute registration is available for this course.
|Teaching Methods||Study Group, Computer lab, Lecture|