Course syllabus for

Alcohol and Drug Dependence - Diagnostics and Treatment from a Bio-psychological Perspective, 7.5 credits

Alkohol- och drogberoende - diagnostik och behandling ur ett bio-psykologiskt perspektiv, 7.5 hp
This course syllabus is valid from spring 2024.
Please note that the course syllabus is available in the following versions:
Course code
Course name
Alcohol and Drug Dependence - Diagnostics and Treatment from a Bio-psychological Perspective
7.5 credits
Form of Education
Higher Education, study regulation 2007
Main field of study 
G2 - First cycle 2 
Grading scale
Fail (U) or pass (G)
Department of Clinical Neuroscience
Decided by
Utbildningsnämnden CNS
Decision date
Revised by
Education committee CNS
Last revision
Course syllabus valid from
Spring 2024

Specific entry requirements

Passed results from semester 1-3 of the Psychology programme consisting 90 credits and at least 15 credits from semester 4.


On completion of the course, the student should be able to

  • define key concepts in the area of substance use disorders
  • give an overview over mechanisms of action for the most common substances as well as their immediate physical and psychological symtoms when under the influence
  • give an overview of and reflect upon how substance use disorders affect the individual from a biopsychosocial perspective
  • demonstrate knowledge regarding the prevalence  and epidemiology of substance use disorders
  • demonstrate knowledge regarding psychological and neuroscientific models for both the etiology and maintenance of as well as recovery from substance use disorders
  • demonstrate knowledge regarding evidence based treatment methods for substance use disorders
  • demonstrate knowledge regarding common clinical situations when psychologists come into contact with people with substance use disorders


The course provides an overview of in which situations clinical psyhologists come in contact with substance use disorders and its consequenses, as well as the importance of screening and treating substance use disorders at the earliest possible stage.

The course covers the mechanisms of action of the most common substances, as well as their short- and long-term consequenses. Psychological and neuroscientific perspectives on etiology, maintenance of and recovery from substance use disorders is also included, as well as risk factors for substance use disorders.

Current diagnoses in the field along with prevalence and epidemiology of substance-related problems are adressed, as well as co-morbidity between substance use diorders and other psychiatric conditions. The course provides deepened knowledge in psychological treatments based on Cognitive Behavorial Therapy (CBT) and Motivational Interviwing (MI) for patients with alocohol use disorders, which is the largest patient group. The course also provides an overview of other treatment methods including pharmacological treatments for substance use disorders.

Finally, the course provides an introduction to a specific treatment method for alcohol use disorders, based on the principles of CBT. The treatment is placed in a context for screening, assessment and treatment. An overview of validated assessment instruments is provided.

Teaching methods

The course begins with an introductory lecture and examines with common presentation and discussion av patient cases. The teaching methods otherwise consist of 8 teaching days over a two-month period, interspersed with independent studying by reading course literature and individual study assignments and also mandatory written discussions in the learning platform, see headline "Examination". Auscultation or similar learning activities may occur.


The course is examined in the following way:
a) individual oral presentation of two patient-cases, is graded U or G
b) compolsury attendance in written discussions in KI´s learning platform 

The course is graded U or G. The grade G on the entire course, requires G on oral presentation of patient-cases, as well as fulfillment of compulsory course elements.

Absence from or unfulfillment of compulsory course elements
The examiner decides whether, and if so how, absence from or unfulfillment of compulsory course elements can be made up for. Study results cannot be reported until the student has participated in or fulfilled compulsory course elements, or compensated for any absence/ failure to fulfill in accordance with instructions from the examiner. Absence from or unfulfillment of a compulsory course element may imply that the student can not retake the element until the next time the course is offered.

Possibility of exception from the course syllabus' regulations on examination
If there are special grounds, or a need for adaptation for a student with a disability, the examiner may decide to deviate from the syllabus' regulations on the examination form, the number of examination opportunities, the possibility of supplementation or exemptions from the compulsory section/s of the course etc. Content and learning outcomes as well as the level of expected skills, knowledge and attitudes may not be changed, removed or reduced.

Transitional provisions

If the course is cancelled or undertakes major revisions, you will find information on transition rules under this heading.

Other directives

Course evaluation is performed per KI´s local guidelines. Students are informed of outcomes and any measures taken via the course web-site.

The course may be given in English.

Literature and other teaching aids

Hammarberg, Anders; Wallhed Finn, Sara Åter till kontrollerat drickande : en handbok för kliniker
Hammarberg, A., Andreasson, S., Fahlke, C., Forsbe Manual för motivationshöjande behandling (MET)
Beroendemedicin Franck, Johan; Nylander, Ingrid
Agerberg, Miki Kidnappad hjärna : en bok om missbruk och beroende