ASC5002 - Socio-cultural perspectives of addiction - 2018

12 points, SCA Band 2, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

Eastern Health Clinical School

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Naomi Crafti


Ms Sharon Patterson
Ms Madeleine Russell

Unit guides



  • First semester 2018 (Online)


This unit explores trends in the use of particular substances and behavioural addictions, including historical precedents, in Australia and other countries. Addiction will be considered with particular reference to special population groups such as, indigenous populations, youth, older adults, LGBTQI groups and transcultural communities.

The aim of the module will be to review social norms and expectations, and consider the bases for stigma and discrimination, and mechanisms for destigmatising drug use in these populations.

This unit will be taught through distance education and include topics such as:

  • History of alcohol, other drug use and behavioural addictions in Australia and Internationally
  • Social, political and economic factors that affect addiction
  • Addiction and views of addiction in relation to special population groups including
  • Indigenous populations
  • Youth
  • Older Adults
  • LGBTQI communities
  • Culturally and linguistically diverse communities

The materials for this unit will be provided by academic and clinical staff with specialist knowledge of their special population group(s) and include the most recent literature pertaining to these groups.

Where possible, input (for example, case studies or stories) from the 'lived experience' of people representing these special population groups will be provided for students.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Identify the major historical, political, economic and social factors that have impacted on our understanding of addiction in Australia and internationally, with reference to particular substances.
  2. Critically evaluate the empirical and theoretical literature across a range of socio-cultural perspectives of addiction.
  3. Communicate confidently with one another and academic experts in the field around socio-cultural issues in the addiction area.
  4. Conduct a thorough literature search on an approved area of independent study around a specific population and the impact of substance use on them.
  5. Write a systematic review of the literature in an approved area of independent study.
  6. Develop a structured interview schedule for an interview with a senior manager/clinician in a specialist AOD service and conduct the interview.
  7. Write a paper about a specialised AOD service or program, based on the interview material obtained in Learning Objective 6.


Students enrolled in ASC5002 will be asked to make contact with an agency providing AOD or related services to a particular special population group. They will be asked to report on the activities of the organisation, including the results of a structured interview with at least one member of staff of that service. Students will need to obtain permission from the Director or CEO of that service and adhere to their requirements for confidentiality and/or anonymity.


  • Participation in online discussion (Hurdle)
  • Critical book review (3,500 words) (30%)
  • Critical analysis (3,500 words) (30%)
  • Fieldwork assignment (5,000 words) (40%) (Hurdle) (You must reach a minimum pass of 45% in this assessment to pass the unit)

Workload requirements

Students enrolling in ASC5002 will be expected to contact the course co-ordinator regularly throughout the semester and participate in online discussion with fellow students and academic staff. Students should expect to spend around 24 hours a week of self-directed learning. This includes accessing online lectures, podcasts and resources as well as participating in forum discussions questions and quizzes via Moodle in addition to conducting offline independent study such as reading, research and writing activities.

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study