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Substance Use Disorders: Critical Views on Interventions and Recovery

This course is open for applications from May 1 – May 31

Substance use disorders (SUDs) are the third most costly mental health disorders in high-income countries. These costs are related to greater health problems and/or increasing disability from work, among others. While there are many potential interventions to reduce the impact of SUDs both for the individual and for the society, there are also challenges in implementing these interventions.

In this course, the instructors will introduce the students to key concepts related to various types of interventions for substance use (e.g., prevention, treatment, rehabilitation), and common methods and indices to measure whether they work. The students will also learn about major approaches to implement interventions (e.g., public health, medical, psychosocial).

Discussions will take place around examples showing how interventions for SUD are implemented in practice. Students will analyze through a critical lens the role of various actors involved in the interventions, including users of substances, practitioners, and stakeholders. For example, the students will learn about patients’ barriers to access treatment, and practitioners’ challenges with supporting the care of complex patient cases.

The course will also offer an overview of the state-of-the-art research on selected topics addressing treatment for SUD, such as motivational interviewing and cognitive behavioral therapy. Further, the students will learn what indices are used in research to determine treatment success (e.g., abstinence), while also learning and reflecting on how the recovery process is experienced and described by substance users.

Overall, the students will be able to look at interventions for SUD from different perspectives, learn about current challenges related to their implementation, and reflect on potential ways to increase the positive impact of interventions for SUD.

Exam info and full course description

Exam info and full course description can be found in the course catalogue.

Admission Requirements

Course specific:

To apply for the course you must either be enrolled in a bachelor's degree, have a bachelor's degree or have passed a qualifying entry examination. 

The course is designed for students within both health and social sciences, such as psychology, public health, nursing, political science, and sociology. No prior knowledge of substance use research is required. 


Exchange students: nomination from your home university

Freemovers: documentation for English Language proficiency

You can read more about admission here.