Psychology 2020A

Drugs & Behaviour

If there is a discrepancy between the outline posted below and the outline posted on the OWL course website, the latter shall prevail.



LONDON               CANADA 

Department of Psychology 

Summer 2023 


Psychology 2020    Section 650 

Drugs & Behaviour 





Survey of the major drugs of abuse, including alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, opiates, stimulants, inhalants, and sedative-hypnotics. Discussion will focus on historical and current patterns of use and abuse, behavioural and psychological effects of acute and chronic use, psychological processes involved in drug effects, neurochemical bases for action, and treatment issues. 



3 lecture hours;  

Course Weight: 0.5 





Instructor: Dr. John Campbell  

Office and Phone Number: SSC 7440  

Office Hours: By Appointment 



Teaching Assistant:  


Office Hours:  



Time and Location of Classes: Asynchronous lecture   

Delivery Method: Virtual 


Students who are in emotional/mental distress should refer to Health and Wellness @Western for a complete list of options about how to obtain help. 


Please contact the course instructor if you require material in an alternate format or if you require any other arrangements to make this course more accessible to you. You may also contact Accessible Education at  or 519-661-2147. 


2.1 Online Learning Notice: 
Please note: For courses delivered in an online format, include an online component, or are required to pivot online, students must have a reliable internet connection and computer that are compatible with online learning system requirements. Some courses may also require the use of a remote proctoring platform to ensure assessments are taken fairly in accordance with Western’s policy on Scholastic Discipline for Undergraduate Students and Scholastic Discipline for Graduate Students. Please refer to the course syllabus for further information. 




Drugs, Behaviour & Modern Society, First Canadian Edition 

Charles F. Levinthal, Hofstra University 







The purpose of this course is to provide an overview of the major drugs of use and abuse. Concepts pertinent to Drugs and Behaviour in general will be presented first (factors for drug-taking behaviour, methods of administration, nervous system basics, basic pharmacological concepts, pharmacological research, and physiological & psychological basis of drug dependence). This will be followed by an overview of both the historical & current trends and patterns of use, regulation, and the neurochemical basis of effects on the brain and behaviour for specific drug categories. 


Learning Outcome  

Learning Activity  


Depth and Breadth of Knowledge.  

Recognize and identify major drugs of abuse when they are discussed texts, news, public forums. 

Online lectures, Ted talks and other videos, online demonstrations 

Midterm exams and final exams 

Knowledge of Methodologies.  

Recognize and identify major concepts related to drug addiction and the treatment of drug addiction.  

Online lectures, Ted talks and other videos, online demonstrations and activities 

Midterm exams and final exams 

Application of Knowledge.  

Identifying how this knowledge can be utilized to change our behaviours as they pertain to the use of drugs and how are bodies interact with different drugs.  

Online demonstrations and activities 

Midterm exams and final exams 

Communication Skills.  

Recognize and identify major experimental procedures related to the study of drug addiction               


Online lectures, videos, activities 

Midterm exams and final exams 

Awareness of Limits of Knowledge. 

Recognizing the limitations of research in the field of drug use and addiction over the years and questions that remain on the topics covered.  

Online lectures, videos, activities 

Midterm exams and final exams 

Autonomy and Professional Capacity. 

Compare, classify, and interpret information about drugs and drug addiction as presented in texts, news, media or public forums. 

Online lectures, videos, activities 

Midterm exams and final exams 





The evaluation and testing formats for this course were created to assess the learning objectives as listed in section 4.0 and are considered necessary for meeting these learning objectives. 


Grades in this course will be based on three online synchronous exams. The exams will consist of a combination of multiple-choice and fill in the blank questions. Students are responsible for material assigned in the textbook, as well as material covered in lectures.  The First Exam (May 27), worth 30% of the final grade, will cover material from May 11 through May 25.  The Second Exam (June 24), worth 30% of the final grade, will cover material from June 1 - 22.  The Final Exam, worth 40% of the final grade, will cover material from July 6 through July 26. 


All exams will be online via OWL and the questions will be randomized as well as the answer choices. All the exams will be “linear” in nature, meaning you can NOT return to questions you have already answered. This is done to try and limit collaboration between students during the exams. Online exam tools will be used to analyse response patterns to monitor potential inappropriate student collaboration during the exams. A proctoring software program will be utilized during the exams. 







If you miss an exam and have an excuse documented by accommodation approved by the academic counselling office in your home faculty, you will be offered a make-up exam time. Please note that make-up exams may consist, in part or exclusively, of essay, short-answer, fill-in-the-blank, and/or multiple-choice items.    



The expectation for course grades within the Psychology Department is that they will be distributed around the following averages: 


70% 1000-level to 2099-level courses 

72% 2100-2999-level courses 

75% 3000-level courses 

80% 4000-level courses 


The Psychology Department follows Western’s grading guidelines, which are as follows (see: 


A+ 90-100 One could scarcely expect better from a student at this level 

A 80-89 Superior work that is clearly above average 

B 70-79 Good work, meeting all requirements, and eminently satisfactory 

C 60-69 Competent work, meeting requirements 

D 50-59 Fair work, minimally acceptable 

F below 50 Fail 


Note that in the event that course grades are significantly higher or lower than these averages, instructors may be required to make adjustments to course grades. Such adjustment might include the normalization of one or more course components and/or the re-weighting of various course components. 


Policy on Grade Rounding: Please note that although course grades within the Psychology Department are rounded to the nearest whole number, no further grade rounding will be done. No additional assignments will be offered to enhance a final grade; nor will requests to change a grade because it is needed for a future program be considered. To maximize your grade, do your best on each and every assessment within the course. 








Exam 1 

May 27 


May 11 through May 25 

Exam 2 

June 24 


June 8 through June 22 

Final Exam 

 Final Exams (July 31 – Aug 3) 


July 6 through July 26 








Topic(s) to be covered 

Reading (s) 


May 11 


Ch 1  


May 18 

How drugs work 

Ch 2 


May 25 

Biological basis of drug addiction 


Ch 3 

Ch 4 


June 1 

EXAM 1 (30%) 

Ch 1 - 4 


June 8 




Ch 5 & 6 


June 15 


Ch 7 


June 22 


Ch 8 

Ch 9 


June 29 

EXAM 2 (30%) 

Ch 5 - 9 


July 6 



Ch 13 


July 13 


Ch 12 


July 19 



Medicinal drugs 


Ch 10 

Ch 15 


July 26 

Substance Abuse Treatment 


Ch 16 



TBD (July 31-Aug 3) 

Final Exam (40%) 

Ch 10, 12, 13, 15, 16 







We acknowledge that Western University is located on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabek, Haudenosaunee, Lūnaapéewak and Attawandaron peoples, on lands connected with the London Township and Sombra Treaties of 1796 and the Dish with One Spoon Covenant Wampum. 


With this, we respect the longstanding relationships that Indigenous Nations have to this land, as they are the original caretakers. We acknowledge historical and ongoing injustices that Indigenous Peoples (e.g. First Nations, Métis and Inuit) endure in Canada, and we accept responsibility as a public institution to contribute toward revealing and correcting miseducation, as well as renewing respectful relationships with Indigenous communities through our teaching, research and community service. 





Students are responsible for understanding the nature and avoiding the occurrence of plagiarism and other scholastic offences. Plagiarism and cheating are considered very serious offences because they undermine the integrity of research and education. Actions constituting a scholastic offence are described at the following link: 


As of Sept. 1, 2009, the Department of Psychology will take the following steps to detect scholastic offences. All multiple-choice tests and exams will be checked for similarities in the pattern of responses using reliable software, and records will be made of student seating locations in all tests and exams. All written assignments will be submitted to TurnItIn, a service designed to detect and deter plagiarism by comparing written material to over 5 billion pages of content located on the Internet or in TurnItIn’s databases. All papers submitted for such checking will be included as source documents in the reference database for the purpose of detecting plagiarism of papers subsequently submitted to the system. Use of the service is subject to the licensing agreement, currently between Western and ( 


Computer-marked multiple-choice tests and/or exams will be subject to submission for similarity review by software that will check for unusual coincidences in answer patterns that may indicate cheating. 


In classes that involve the use of a personal response system (PRS), data collected using the PRS will only be used in a manner consistent to that described in this outline. It is the instructor’s responsibility to make every effort to ensure that data remain confidential. However, students should be aware that as with all forms of electronic communication, privacy is not guaranteed. Your PRS login credentials are for your sole use only. Students attempting to use another student’s credentials to submit data through the PRS may be subject to academic misconduct proceedings.  


Possible penalties for a scholastic offence include failure of the assignment/exam, failure of the course, suspension from the University, and expulsion from the University. 



Tests and examinations for online courses will be conducted using a remote proctoring service. By taking this course, you are consenting to the use of this software and acknowledge that you will be required to provide personal information (including some biometric data) and the session will be recorded.  Completion of this course will require you to have a reliable internet connection and a device that meets the technical requirements for this service. More information about this remote proctoring service, including technical requirements, is available on Western’s Remote Proctoring website at: 

In the event that in-person exams are unexpectedly canceled, you may only be given notice of the use of a proctoring service a short time in advance. 






Western’s policy on Accommodation for Medical Illness can be found at: 


If you experience an extenuating circumstance (e.g., illness, injury) sufficiently significant to temporarily make you unable to meet academic requirements, you may request accommodation through the following routes:  

  1. For medical absences, submitting a Student Medical Certificate (SMC) signed by a licensed medical or mental health practitioner in order to be eligible for Academic Consideration;  
  1. For non-medical absences, submitting appropriate documentation (e.g., obituary, police report, accident report, court order, etc.) to Academic Counselling in their Faculty of registration in order to be eligible for academic consideration. Students are encouraged to contact their Academic Counselling unit to clarify what documentation is appropriate. 


Students must see the Academic Counsellor and submit all required documentation in order to be approved for certain accommodation. 


Students seeking academic consideration: 

  • are advised to consider carefully the implications of postponing tests or midterm exams or delaying handing in work;   
  • must communicate with their instructors no later than 24 hours after the end of the period covered SMC, or immediately upon their return following a documented absence 


Students seeking accommodation for religious purposes are advised to contact Academic Counselling at least three weeks prior to the religious event and as soon as possible after the start of the term. 




In the event of a COVID-19 resurgence or any other event that necessitates the course delivery moving away from face-to-face interaction, all remaining course content will be delivered entirely online, either synchronously (i.e., at the times indicated in the timetable) or asynchronously (e.g., posted on OWL for students to view at their convenience). The grading scheme will not change. Any remaining assessments will also be conducted online, as determined by the course instructor. 




In courses involving online interactions, the Psychology Department expects students to honour the following rules of etiquette: 

  • please “arrive” to class on time 
  • please use your computer and/or laptop if possible (as opposed to a cell phone or tablet) 
  • please ensure that you are in a private location to protect the confidentiality of discussions in the event that a class discussion deals with sensitive or personal material 
  • to minimize background noise, kindly mute your microphone for the entire class until you are invited to speak, unless directed otherwise 
  • In classes larger than 30 participants please turn off your video camera for the entire class unless you are invited to speak 
  • In classes of 30 students or fewer, where video chat procedures are being used, please be prepared to turn your video camera off at the instructor’s request if the internet connection becomes unstable 
  • Unless invited by your instructor, do not share your screen in the meeting 


The course instructor will act as moderator for the class and will deal with any questions from participants. To participate please consider the following: 

  • If you wish to speak, use the “raise hand” function and wait for the instructor to acknowledge you before beginning your comment or question. 
  • Please remember to unmute your microphone and turn on your video camera before speaking. 
  • Self-identify when speaking. 
  • Please remember to mute your mic and turn off your video camera after speaking (unless directed otherwise). 


General considerations of “netiquette”: 

  • Keep in mind the different cultural and linguistic backgrounds of the students in the course. 
  • Be courteous toward the instructor, your colleagues, and authors whose work you are discussing. 
  • Be respectful of the diversity of viewpoints that you will encounter in the class and in your readings. The exchange of diverse ideas and opinions is part of the scholarly environment. “Flaming” is never appropriate. 
  • Be professional and scholarly in all online postings. Use proper grammar and spelling. Cite the ideas of others appropriately. 


Note that disruptive behaviour of any type during online classes, including inappropriate use of the chat function, is unacceptable. Students found guilty of Zoom-bombing a class or of other serious online offenses may be subject to disciplinary measures under the Code of Student Conduct. 




Office of the Registrar:   


Student Development Services:  


Psychology Undergraduate Program: 


If you wish to appeal a grade, please read the policy documentation at: 

Please first contact the course instructor. If your issue is not resolved, you may make your appeal to the Undergraduate Chair in Psychology ( 


Copyright Statement: Lectures and course materials, including power point presentations, outlines, videos and similar materials, are protected by copyright. You may take notes and make copies of course materials for your own educational use. You may not record lectures, reproduce (or allow others to reproduce), post or distribute any course materials publicly and/or for commercial purposes without the instructor’s written consent. 


Policy on the Recording of Synchronous Sessions: Some or all of the remote learning sessions for this course (if scheduled) may be recorded. The data captured during these recordings may include your image, voice recordings, chat logs and personal identifiers (name displayed on the screen). The recordings will be used for educational purposes related to this course, including evaluations. The recordings may be disclosed to other individuals participating in the course for their private or group study purposes. Please contact the instructor if you have any concerns related to session recordings. Participants in this course are not permitted to privately record the sessions, except where recording is an approved accommodation, or the student has the prior written permission of the instructor.