SPOL40530 Drug Use, Community & Society

Academic Year 2021/2022

Drug and alcohol use and its impact is one of the most significant issues in society today. This module explores current and emerging drug and alcohol policy, including drug policy approaches, as well as strategies and interventions to reduce substance use, risk and harm. Substance use is considered and explored from the perspectives of crime, family and communities, with a particular focus on understanding complex interventions strategies, community responses and individual responses to drug and alcohol use. The complex interplay of drug and alcohol use with issues such as domestic violence, community violence, crime, intimidation, and social disadvantage are considered and explored. The planning, development and delivery of substance use responses at agency and community level are considered, together with emerging debates and issues in regard to drug and alcohol use, supply and impact on families and communities.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On completion of this module students will be able to:
• Critically reflect on drug and social policy in Ireland and internationally, and the relationship between policy and social and community responses to drug and alcohol use.
• Understand the complexity of effective drug policy, including epidemiology and drug markets, evidence base for policy and health system interventions and the impact and role of community in relation to substance use.
• Have the ability to understand and assess complex interventions for drug and alcohol use for individuals, families and within community settings, including minimization of harm and risk.
• Demonstrate knowledge of emerging debates in regard to policy and practice in drug and alcohol work.
• Explore, understand and plan interventions for challenging issues in drug and alcohol work, including those impacting on families and communities.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Specified Learning Activities




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Adult learning approach that relates students' lived experience with theory and concepts.

This module is delivered over 10 weeks and will be delivered primarily online, with 2 sessions face to face and 8 fully online. The online sessions will comprise of pre-reading, recorded lectures, discussion group seminars and follow up reading and reflections. There will be two face to face sessions in week 4 and week 10. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Project: < Description > Unspecified n/a Graded No


Essay: < Description > Unspecified n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Written feedback together with provisional grade will be provided