What class?

LSCJ 4143: Drugs and Society

Why is it cool?

For some, loud music, bright lights and mind-altering substances hold vast appeal. They can be a way of socializing, letting loose and even taking experiences to another dimension. But substance use can quickly turn into abuse, addiction and a way of life. Drugs have the ability to alter the wiring of your brain—perhaps permanently—and can come with many penal repercussions. Drugs and Society explores the legal, psychological and sociological impact of drugs on contemporary American society.

Drugs and Society will equip students with a keen understanding of every facet of drug culture in the United States. This is far-reaching, affecting both the economy and society. In the state of Oklahoma alone, the social cost of substance abuse is estimated at 1.2 billion dollars per year. While students will learn drug regulations and legal issues, penal repercussions are simply the end result of an in-depth problem.

Substance abuse is not, however, as simple as a punitive reproach. For students, especially those that intend on being law enforcement officers, effective practice requires identifying the various categories of drugs, as well as how drugs affect the brain and shape behavior. This is perhaps a more important aspect covered by the class, as understanding the psychological need to use and the lasting impacts of abuse will foster a more ethical approach to human behavior.

Ultimately, the goal of the course is to create highly informed individuals who can walk away from this class and implement the material in their daily lives. As substance use and abuse is prevalent, recognizing predispositions within loved ones or even oneself might be the first step in abuse prevention or treating drug dependence. At the very best, the information could potentially help keep people you know outside of the penal system.

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Deah Caldwell
Deah Caldwell is a Future Student Services advisor for the College of Liberal Studies. In 2010, she earned her master’s degree in History from the University of Central Oklahoma. She also contributes to Insight magazine, the CLS blog and CLS web content efforts.

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