1 x 1-hour lecture weekly
1 x 1-hour tutorial weekly
1 SOAD1008 - Reasons for Social Work
1a SOAD1004 - Introduction to Social Work
Must Satisfy: ((1 or 1a))
Enrolment not permitted
SOAD4006 has been successfully completed
Portfolio, Project
Topic description

This topic has been designed to help social work students understand more about addiction, particularly addictions that threaten people's health, livelihoods and family lives, such as those relating to drug abuse, gambling and over-consumption. Consideration will be given to the Stages of Change Model, Motivational Interviewing and the use of a Recovery Approach. The topic will be taught critically, with questions raised not just about how we constitute addictions and addictive behaviour, but also how social workers, might participate in activities that address the problems that 'addicts' and others believe stem from 'bad habits' or addictions.

Educational aims

  • Conceptualising addiction:
    • We look at how ideas of addiction help shape understandings of what it means to be a proper citizen and a proper gendered subject in Western liberal societies
  • Understanding different addictions:
    • We consider how and why some addictions are treated differently in Australian society, with some that are legal and encouraged, and others that are actively scorned
  • Responding to addictions:
    • We investigate the main responses in Western liberal democracies to three types of addiction: drug abuse, gambling and over-consumption. We will examine the implications of treating addiction as crime but also an illness. We will also consider the Stages of Change Model, as it is applied in accordance with the principles of abstinence and harm minimisation
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Conceptualise addictions and associated concepts (such as abstinence, harm minimisation and zero tolerance) as they are understood in Australia and beyond
  2. Critically analyse different public perceptons of different addictions and explicatehow social locations affect our understanding of addictions in western liberal democracies
  3. Articulate ways in which social workers might respond to people presenting with problems of addiction

Key dates and timetable

(1), (2)

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Where more than one class is offered, students normally attend only one.

Classes are held weekly unless otherwise indicated.


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contact your College Office for assistance. Full classes frequently occur near the start of semester.

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Class registration normally closes at the end of week 2 of each semester.

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  Unless otherwise advised, classes are not held during semester breaks or on public holidays.