Drugs in Society

Dublin City University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Drugs in Society

  • Host University

    Dublin City University

  • Location

    Dublin, Ireland

  • Area of Study

    Health Science, Sociology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    In contemporary societies, controversies abound in relation to what counts as proper and improper drug use as well as how drugs should be controlled, regulated, supplied, encouraged and discouraged. Within this module, we explore these controversies and focus on arguments about the following: normalisation and drug use; a "rational approach" to drug-related harms; prohibition, decriminalisation and legalisation of drug use; the potential for "responsible" drug use; drugs and identity; medications and medicalisation; and drug-assisted human enhancement. Through addressing these arguments, we explore some fundamental questions to do with human nature, freedom, responsibility, and risk-taking.

    Learning Outcomes
    1. Explore arguments about normalisation and normality in relation to both recreational drug use and the use of medications.
    2. Discuss the value of a 'rational approach' to the evaluation of drug-related harms
    3. Examine the uses of prohibition in the field of drugs policy
    4. Explore libertarian arguments in favour of drug legalisation
    5. Examine the case for harm reduction and the decriminalisation of illicit drug use
    6. Appraise the potential for 'responsible drug use' with particular attention to alcohol use in Ireland
    7. Explore the relations between drug use and identity
    8. Examine arguments about the uses of medication and how this relates to population health
    9. Explore the ethics of drug-assisted human enhancement.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.