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Many people who are living with a mental health concern also live with an addiction. Sometimes, it can be hard to know which condition happened first. Clients living with addiction and mental health concerns need support staff who understand issues such as cravings, withdrawal, and risk for overdose. 

Learning Outcomes

  • Conceptualize what a substance use disorder (addiction) is
  • Discuss different theories of substance use disorder
  • Discuss, and understand the difference between substances
  • Demonstrate a basic understanding of how drugs work on the body
  • Understand the role of support workers with individuals with an addiction
  • Identify and discuss personal attitudes towards addiction


Online participation: Weekly lessons/Ongoing. Students are expected to be active participants in their learning experiences. This involves:

Reading the weekly course materials

Watching recorded lectures

Attending online classes

Engaging in weekly discussion forums, and doing so in a timely way. 25%

Short Answer Questions: Please answer the following 5 short questions using no more than 100 words, per answer. Apply class lectures, textbook readings, and applicable, personal experience. Be sure to give an explanation/provide evidence to back up your answers. 20%- Questions will be unlocked to students Monday morning in week 3 and are to be returned to assignment drop box by the Sunday evening of the same week 11:00pm

Verbal presentation assignment: The verbal presentation is worth 35 points, with 5 individual components of 7 marks each. It is worth 35% of the course grade. Students may choose to give a presentation on any topic that interests them, in relation to the basics of substance use course. Students must inform the instructor what their topic will be, by the end of class in the Friday of week 3. The verbal presentation will be given by each student in week 5, on a day and time agreed upon between students and instructors.

Final Quiz: Students will complete a closed-book final quiz that incorporates questions on all the material studied throughout the course, with a total of 10 questions. Students will take the quiz in class, with cameras on, and will have 30 minutes to complete the quiz, and it must be done in one sitting. Worth 20% of the grade.

Required Textbook

Substance Use and Abuse, Second Edition: Everything Matters, Csiernik.

While you are required to use the 2nd edition of this textbook, you may choose to purchase it as an e-book. Whether the book is a physical copy or an e-book will not affect its use in this course.

There are a variety of ways to purchase this book. Here is one option:

Scheduled class time

Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 12:40PM to 2:25PM

Course Evaluation

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Course Instructor

Pam Sterzer

Pam Sterzer