ASC5003 - Addiction policies, prevention and public health - 2019

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


Dr Cherie Heilbronn
Dr Rowan Ogeil

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2019 (Online)


Must be enrolled in a Postgraduate degree


This unit considers the socio-historical precedents of drug policy and the public health responses to drug use.

It aims to compare and contrast the differences seen in policy and public health measures employed around the world and the results of these measures.

The roles of alcohol and drug regulation and legislation, illicit drug supply and demand reduction, alcohol price and availability, and prescription drug availability and monitoring will be addressed.

It will assess the effectiveness of different forms of intervention at individual, group and population level, including prevention, harm minimisation and treatment, in managing problem use.

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

  • Epidemiology and addiction
  • Policy responses to drug use
  • Population level prevention activities
  • Effectiveness of primary and secondary public health measures in response to tobacco, alcohol, & other licit drugs
  • Illicit drugs
  • Gambling (& other process addictions)

The materials for this unit will be provided by academic staff with specialist knowledge of population based research in the addiction field and its translation to public health policy, and will include the most recent research in this area.


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

  1. Critically review the evidence base of epidemiological and public health policy research in addictions alcohol, illicit drugs and gambling.
  2. Communicate confidently with one another and academic experts in the field around specific issues in AOD-related epidemiology, public policy and public health.
  3. Critique the impact of epidemiological studies of addiction on public health policy, interventions and strategies.
  4. Identify public policy processes in addiction, critiquing how individual, community and institutional forces can shape policy direction.
  5. Compare and contrast policy responses to drug use across drug types and across cultures.
  6. Determine the role and contribution of population based prevention activities compared with individual based prevention.
  7. Deconstruct the effectiveness of primary and secondary public health measures across different aspects of addiction.
  8. Identify and critically evaluate the intersection of public health prevention levels and the harm minimisation framework.


  • Poster (800-1000 words) (30%)
  • Essay (3000 words) (30%)
  • Policy analysis (4000 words) (40%) (hurdle)
  • Hurdle: Participate in online discussion (Hurdle)

Workload requirements

Students enrolling in ASC5003 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