Social workers across all sectors of practice are faced with individuals, families, and communities that are significantly affected by substance use disorders. The focus of the class is on exploring the nature, etiology and treatment of substance use disorders and how they relate to social work practice. Set within a social justice framework, students critically analyze the intersections of substance use with racism and other forms of oppression. Ethical and legal frameworks for substance use treatment are identified and analyzed.
Students explore the complex interactions of biological, psychological, and social causes and consequences of substance use, and learn how to develop a comprehensive, multidimensional biopsychosocial assessment. The class prepares students to develop knowledge of, and skills in, evidence-informed substance use prevention, education, and treatment with individuals, groups, families, organizations, and communities.