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Rethinking Addiction

  • What is addiction?
  • Does addiction always involve drugs?
  • Is addiction always problematic?
  • How much control do individuals have over addiction?
  • How can reduce or prevent addiction and its harms?

Creatively respond to the problem of addiction and help to make a difference. 

The devastating impact of the current opioid epidemic in the United States with 130 opioid-related overdose deaths every day has heightened public awareness about the danger of addiction. The fact that addictions are the top causes of preventable death and disability in the United States and also create a significant burden on families, social systems, and the economy clearly demonstrates the importance of confronting the nature of addiction and creating an effective and equitable societal response. The goal of this Lab is to confront the complex challenge of addiction. We will pursue questions about the fundamental nature of addiction and the ways in which societies both influence and respond to addiction. We will ask whether it is useful to think of addiction as a brain disease or as genetic disorders and how these models influence the ways in which societies try to prevent and treat addiction and what social policies are adopted. Using an archive of literary, scientific, and media resources we will engage in hands-on activities in a small classroom environment, interact with guest consultants, and address a challenge posed by a community partner.

Community Partner

Impact Outcomes

The Rethinking Addiction Lab was the first Humanities Lab to commit its impact outcomes to an exclusive community partnership. Lab students had the opportunity to work directly with faculty from the Department of Psychology, the School of Music, Dance and Theater and the executive team from Southwest Human Development’s Smooth Way Home program. Students put their research to immediate practice in the creation of engaging, public-facing impact outcomes with use-value to their community partners.

View their final impact outcomes here.

Addiction in the News

At the Humanities Lab, we strive to ensure our Labs are relevant and current. Here are some recent articles about Addiction in today’s news!

Enrollment Information

Fall 2020

Course time/location: Mondays 12:15-3:00pm in ECGG236

Lab time/location: Wednesdays 1:45-3:00pm in ECGG236*

  • Humanities Lab HUL 494 and 598
  • Psychology  PSY 494
  • Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts HDA 494
*Lab time is for students to work on activities and assignments, especially skill-building and collaborative Lab projects. Contact faculty about required Lab times.   Sign up today!

Instructional Team

Faculty: Laurie Chassin Psychology Department of Psychology Rethinking Addiction Fall 2020
Faculty: Stephani Etheridge Woodson Film, Dance and Theatre Herberger Institute of Design and the Arts Rethinking Addiction Fall 2020
Librarian: Matt Harp Assistant Liaison Librarian STEM Division Rethinking Addiction Fall 2020