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University of the West of Scotland: Contemporary Drug and Alcohol Studies

Institution University of the West of Scotland
Department Education and Social Sciences
Telephone 0800 027 1000
Study type Taught


Students are introduced to a range of cross disciplinary theories, concepts and evidence to analyse:

  • The use and effects of psychoactive substances

  • Patterns of consumption differentiated across social groups

  • Responses to drug and alcohol-related harms from a range of perspectives, such as criminal justice, treatment, harm reduction, public health, and health inclusion

We critically examine substance-related harms for individuals, families and communities and how harms are mediated by gender, class, race and ethnicity. We pay particular attention to the social, economic and political contexts of inequality and risk environments and how issues such as housing, homelessness and welfare state reforms may contribute to harms.

We also assess the influences of the alcohol industry; the drugs economy; and prohibition on policy and practice, and engage with current debates on alcohol and drug law reforms nationally and internationally.


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