Course Syllabus

Under the Influence: Alcohol, Drugs, and Young Adulthood (DRAFT SYLLABUS)

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Semester & Location:

Summer 2024 - session 1 - DIS Copenhagen

Type & Credits:

Elective Course - 3 credits

Major disciplines:  Global health, psychology, sociology, mental health


Faculty Members:

Priya Ranganath (current students please use the Canvas Inbox)

Program Contact:

Science and Health Department:

Program Director:

Susana Dietrich

Time & Place:




Priya Ranganath

Ph.D Student, Center for Alcohol and Drug Research (Aarhus University, 2019-2024.
Master in Sociology (Trinity College Dublin, 2017-2018)
Master in International Business (Monash University, 2007-2009)
Bachelor in Management (Tourism) (University of Technology, Sydney 2002-2005). With DIS since 2022.

Course Description

While young Danes continue to be the heaviest drinkers in Europe, high levels of drinking and problematic drug use amongst teens and young adults present a significant global health burden. In this interdisciplinary course, you will assess the effect of intoxication on the developing brain and body and analyze its social, psychological, and legal impacts, including addiction and mental health challenges, illness and injury, sexual health, criminality, and social exclusion.

Learning Objectives

After successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • Assess with clarity the contexts and consequences of alcohol and drug related harms for young individuals and society with a particular focus on social, economic and political contexts of risk environments and these contexts are mediated by age, gender, class and ethnicity. 
  • Identify and apply contemporary responses to substance use and critically evaluate its effectiveness to support recovery, harm reduction and successful treatment outcomes 
  • Engage in contemporary contested debates as to how society should best support young people with substance use and investigate future developments in drug treatments 
  • Connect theory and practice in order to develop a high-level knowledge of addiction to strengthen competencies in other disciplines. 

Teaching methods

The course will be a mix of interactive lectures, class discussions, group work, student presentations, and feedback sessions. While we as faculty are responsible for the overall structure of the class, all of us will contribute to the production of knowledge. All students are expected and encouraged to engage actively in class sessions.


Evaluation and Grading

Grading breakdown and assignments will be announced later. 

Pelase notice, that to be eligible for a passing grade in this class, all of the assigned work must be completed. Please note that 'extra credit' or 'make-up work' is not possible in this course.

The factors influencing the final grade and the proportional importance of each factor will be shown below when finalized.


Assignments and tests are submitted via Canvas. Submissions exceeding the word limit will be penalized by a third of a grade per additional page or part thereof (A- becomes B+, B becomes B- etc.).

Late assignments will be accepted, but your grade will be reduced by 2 thirds of a grade for each day or part thereof that it is late (A- becomes B, B becomes C+ etc.).




You are expected to attend all DIS classes and activities when scheduled, and we will actively monitor attendance. Absences will jeopardize your grade and your standing at DIS. Excused absences include only serious illness and participation in religious holidays.

If you miss multiple classes, the Director of Academic Support, and the Director of Student Affairs will be notified and they will follow-up with you to make sure that all is well. In the case of multiple absences, you will need to provide a doctor’s note.

Missing class: You must always notify your instructor about an absence a reasonable time in advance. Each failure to notify your faculty of an absence in advance will result in a deduction of 2 points off your final participation grade.


Class room etiquette

A good learning environment requires that everyone is present, prepared, and participating. Out of respect for both faculty and fellow students, we expect you to be on time and to participate in the full duration of the class.

Laptops and phones in class: You may use your laptop for note‐taking or fact‐checking. Usage of laptops or phones not related to the class is unacceptable, and will reduce your participation grade significantly.

Make-up classes: There are a few open slots for make-up classes in the syllabus. Please note that there may be organized mandatory classes during these time slots.



Please note that this is not an exhaustive list and that readings might be added or changed before any lecture - check Canvas for updated readings prior to each class.

A New Index. Social Indicators Research, 128(2), 635–660                                         

Abello, A., Cassells, R., Daly, A., D’Souza, G., & Miranti, R. (2016). Youth Social Exclusion in Australian Communities:

Barry, A. E., King, J., Sears, C., Harville, C., Bondoc, I., & Joseph, K. (2016). Prioritizing Alcohol Prevention: Establishing Alcohol as the Gateway Drug and Linking Age of First Drink With Illicit Drug Use. Journal of School Health, 86(1), 31–38.      

da Silveira, P. S., de Tostes, J. G. A., Wan, H. T., Ronzani, T. M., & Corrigan, P. W. (2018). The stigmatization of drug use as mechanism of legitimation of exclusion. In R. T. (Ed.), Drugs and Social Context: Social Perspectives on the Use of Alcohol and Other Drugs (pp. 15–25; 10 pages)                                                              

Dahlström, S. (2023). Alcohol and drug prevention in the Nordic countries: A conference report.                

Davidson, L., et al. (2008). “From “Double Trouble” to “Dual Recovery”: Integrating Models of Recovery in Addiction and Mental Health.” Journal of dual diagnosis 4(3): 273-290. (11 pages)              

Degenhardt, L., Stockings, E., Patton, G., Hall, W. D., & Lynskey, M. (2016). The increasing global health priority of substance use in young people. The Lancet Psychiatry, 3(3), 251–264.                          

Duff, C. (2008). The pleasure in context. International Journal of Drug Policy, 19(5), 384–392.

Earnshaw, V. A. (2020). Stigma and substance use disorders: A clinical, research, and advocacy agenda. American Psychologist, 75, 1300–1311.    

Eisenberg, M. E., Gower, A. L., Watson, R. J., Rider, G. N., Thomas, D., & Russell, S. T. (2022). Substance Use Behaviors Among LGBTQ+ Youth of Color: Identification of the Populations Bearing the Greatest Burden in Three Large Samples. The Journal of Adolescent Health: Official Publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine, 71(3), 317–323.       

Harding, F. M., Hingson, R. W., Klitzner, M., Mosher, J. F., Brown, J., Vincent, R. M., Dahl, E., & Cannon, C. L. (2016). Underage Drinking: A Review of Trends and Prevention Strategies. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 51(4, Supplement 2), S148–S157.

Hatzenbuehler, M. L., & Pachankis, J. E. (2016). Stigma and Minority Stress as Social Determinants of Health Among Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Youth: Research Evidence and Clinical Implications. Pediatric Clinics, 63(6), 985–997.

Hunt, G., & Frank Asmussen, V. (2016). Reflecting on Intoxication. In T. Kolind, B. Thom, & G. Hunt (Eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Drug and Alcohol Studies (chapter 18, pp. 322-336). 55 City Road: SAGE Publications Ltd.                                                                         

Hunt, G., Antin, T., Sanders, E., & Sisneros, M. (2019). Queer youth, intoxication and queer drinking spaces. Journal of Youth Studies, 22(3), 380–400.            

Jernigan, D., Noel, J., Landon, J., Thornton, N., & Lobstein, T. (2017). Alcohol marketing and youth alcohol consumption: A systematic review of longitudinal studies published since 2008. Addiction, 112(S1), 7–20.                                                   

Keane, H. (2016). Addiction: Critical Reflections on a Debated Concept. In The SAGE Handbook of Drug and Alcohol Studies (pp. 367–381). SAGE Publications Ltd.                             

Kraus, L., Room, R., Livingston, M., Pennay, A., Holmes, J., & Törrönen, J. (2020). Long waves of consumption or a unique social generation? Exploring recent declines in youth drinking. Addiction Research & Theory, 28(3), 183–193.                               

McCambridge, J., Mialon, M., & Hawkins, B. (2018). Alcohol industry involvement in policymaking: a systematic review. Addiction, 113(9), 1571–1584. (14 pages)

Nathan, Sally, Patrick Rawstorne, Andrew Hayen, Joanne Bryant, Eileen Baldry, Mark Ferry, Megan Williams, Marian Shanahan, and Ranmalie Jayasinha. 2016. “Examining the Pathways for Young People with Drug and Alcohol Dependence: A Mixed-Method Design to Examine the Role of a Treatment Programme.” BMJ Open 6 (5): e010824.                                                                                                   

Nicholls, J. (2017). Alcohol Policy in Global Context. In T. Kolind, G. Hunt, & B. Thom (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of drug and alcohol studies. Social science approaches (pp. 164–178). Los Angeles: SAGE Publications. (15 pages)"

Raitasalo, K., Kraus, L., Bye, E. K., Karlsson, P., Tigerstedt, C., Törrönen, J., & Raninen, J. (2021). Similar countries, similar factors? Studying the decline of heavy episodic drinking in adolescents in Finland, Norway and Sweden. Addiction, 116(1), 62–71.         

Ritter, A., Hughes, C., & Hull, P. (2016). Drug policy. In T. Kolind, B. Thom, & G. Hunt (Eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Drug and Alcohol Studies (chapter 9, pp. 135-160). 55 City Road: SAGE Publications Ltd."

Savic, M., Room, R., Mugavin, J., Pennay, A., & Livingston, M. (2016). Defining “drinking culture”: A critical review of its meaning and connotation in social research on alcohol problems. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy, 23(4), 270–282.      

Spear, L. P. (2015). Adolescent alcohol exposure: Are there separable vulnerable periods within adolescence? Physiology & Behavior, 148, 122–130.     

Torales J, Castaldelli-Maia J M, da Silva AG, Campos MW, González-Urbieta I, Barrios I. Even More Complex…. WhenMental Disorder Meets Addiction in Youth: Dual Pathology. Curr Drug Res Rev. 2019;11(1):40-43. (3 pages)


Academic Regulations 

Please make sure to read the Academic Regulations on the DIS website. There you will find regulations on:


DIS - Study Abroad in Scandinavia -


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Course Summary:

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