substance abuse




This is an open book, non-proctored, and non-timed examination. Material covered in this examination comes from your reading assignments for the first four weeks of this class.  You must make connections to and properly cite the textbook in each of your answers.


Answers must be paraphrased (restated in your own words with no quoting permitted), properly APA format source credited – including within-answer citations and a list of references included at the end of each answer – and at least 600 words each, not counting source citations and references. Answers should be succinct, thorough, articulated in well-organized paragraphs (lists, sentence fragments and bulleted items are not permitted), and more substantive than just definitions of terms, procedures, or issues. 


To complete this exam, save a copy of the attached file on your hard drive, construct your answers below each question on a separate page per question, attach a cover page to the front and a reference list to the end (references must also be placed at the end of each question for which they were used) and attach it under the Midterm Exam assignment tab. 


NOTEAnswers copy/pasted into a student comments box in the assignment tab cannot be graded; a Word document or Rich-Text File formatted as instructed above must be uploaded. 



1. Explain, in terms a layperson could understand, the neurobiology of drug tolerance, dependence, and withdrawal.

2. Choose one of the following areas and broadly recount its socio-historical path:

a. Models of substance use

b. Substance abuse treatments

c. The social/self-help movements

d. Treatment and prevention efforts

3. In considering both psychological evaluations and laboratory assessments of substance use disorders, discuss the factors which you consider to be most pressing in determining which type(s) of assessment(s) to administer – those factors may be related to the client, to the substance being used, and/or to the assessment tools themselves.

4. Characterize the three specific factors you believe are most important for a basic understanding of each of the following substances of abuse. Be sure to justify your choices using only about 100 words for each:

a. Alcohol

b. Nicotine

c. Opioids

d. Cannabis

e. Hallucinogens & Inhalants

f. Stimulants

g. Cocaine

h. Sedatives/Hypnotics & Benzodiazepines

5. Choose one of the following questions:

a. Based on your reading and understanding of the traditional substance use disorders thus far, argue either for or against considering the “behavioral” addictions like pathological gambling to be “addictive” disorders.

b. Discuss some of the primary clinical challenges of managing pain and addiction in a clinical population.