1. Define addiction, dependence, habituation, abuse, harmful use and compulsion.
2. Characterize the social image of the addicted person and the attitudes to drug consumption in health professionals along history
3. Expose the prevalence of drug consumption for the different substances in Catalonia as well as in Spain, in Europe and in the World and the percentage of persons entering treatment by each drug.
4. Give an account of the mortality and burden of disease attributable to alcohol and other drugs.
5. Identify the major sociological and psychological factors associated with increased risk of addiction and explain the evidence which indicates they are the most important determinants.
6. Describe some of the different settings for addiction prevention and the interventions with evidence of effectiveness in each setting. Specifically, detail the strategy for addiction prevention from the sanitary services (Brief Intervention, Transtheoric Model of Change, Motivational Interviewing).
7. Recognize the indicators that a behavior has became an addiction
8. Determine the neurocognitive processes involved in addiction.
9. Using examples, illustrate how an addiction is managed inside the Health Care System.
10. Outline the therapeutic interventions currently employed in the treatment of addictions (Pharmacological, Inpatient units, Cognitive-Conductual Therapy, Group Therapy, Family Therapy, Therapeutic Community, Risk reduction, etc.) and indicate their grade of effectiveness.
11. Using examples, asses, design and implement biopsychosocial interventions for the treatment of patients with tobacco and alcohol addiction.
12. Evaluate the evidence for Complementary and Alternative treatments for addiction (Hypnosis, Acupuncture, Herbs and Plants, Bioresonance, etc.).
When a behaviour seems to be strongly driven by forces outside the person’s voluntary control and, specially, when the person continues with this behaviour despite the experience of the significant physical and/or psychological problems being caused by this behaviour we judge this dysfunctional conduct to be an addiction.
For a long time the addiction field has been a cardinal medical concern because of its serious health repercussions. The mortality and morbidity derived from maladaptive habits (specially tobacco and alcohol consumption) are of the utmost relevance to public health in the developed countries above all because they are preventable, becoming an imperative to any person involved in the medical profession to be proficient in the understanding, assessment and management of an addiction.
Unfortunately, the attitude and beliefs of the medical profession toward people engaged in drug abuse or in addictive behavioural patterns continue to show negative, even intolerant dispositions. Clinical staff in primary care and in hospitals commonly place alcoholics and drug addicts very low on the list of patients whom they would like to treat. This bias influences the healing approach and is, clearly, an obstacle to problem resolution. Therefore, a specific training in addiction to all medical personnel is indispensable in order to change this stigmatizing and counter therapeutic attitude.
Opportunely, in the short space of time of two decades, there has been a paradigm shift in the interpretation of what addiction is, from considering it a personality vice or a breakdown in the person’s ability to exercise normal intentional control over their behaviour, to addiction being viewed as a neurobiological brain disorder involving unconscious learning and responsive to a neurocognitive rehabilitation.
This elective is addressed to students interested to survey, probe and handle the addiction range.