Students studying addiction studies learn about the use and abuse of alcohol, tobacco and other psychoactive substances, as well as gambling and other addictive behaviors. They learn about the neural and psychological bases for addictions, such as genetic predispositions, prenatal effects, and family histories. Students learn about specific drugs, how they work, and their effects. They learn about how drugs are metabolized and the various drugs used to treat psychiatric conditions.
They learn the theories of drug abuse and the role of drugs in various societies. Students also learn about health promotion, the concept of wellness, and target groups. The various perspectives on alcohol and drug law and social policy are also explored.
Various coping strategies are also taught. Students learn about community-based prevention practices to reduce the risk of developing substance abuse problems. Classroom studies are supplemented by field studies and practicums, where students get to apply their theoretical knowledge to the real world. They visit medical centers, rehabilitation centers, correctional institutions, and community clinics.