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The American Disease: Drugs and Drug Control in the USA

University of Florida via Coursera


This online course introduces the history and practice of drug policy. Students will learn about drug laws and their origins, and the complex task of drug policy analysis. The course also tackles contemporary issues in drug control, such as marijuana policy and prescription drug misuse. At the completion of this course, students should be able to:
  • Discuss federal and state responses to drugs from the late 1800s to the present
  • Compare pre-and post-Nixon-era drug policy
  • Analyze drug policies to determine how well they advance stated goals
  • Describe how processes in the brain are affected by drug use and addiction


Part 1: A Short History of Drug Control

1. Course Introduction and Syllabus
2. Drugs in the New Republic and Federal and State Responses
3. The Nixon Era
4. After Nixon – present
5. Introduction to Drug Policy Analysis (Use Reduction & Harm Reduction)

Part 2: Special Topics in Drug Control

6. Marijuana Policy
7. Nonmedical Use of Prescription Drugs
8. The Brain and Addiction
9. Law Enforcement and Crime
10. Global and Innovative Approaches 

Taught by

Kevin Sabet and Michael Nias


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