Drugs of Abuse

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Vimal Rarh
Delhi University
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Video transcripts
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Post graduate
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Weekly Reading list


Course Overview:

This course entitled “Drugs of Abuse” has been designed in a very systematic and logical manner for self-learning of a virtual learner. This course shall be presented through a variety of multimedia enriched e-content, activities and assessments so that you are able to understand various topics very well.

The entire course shall be delivered in 15 weeks including two weeks for Revision and Assessment. In the weeks 1-7 and 9-14, you shall be provided with self-learning e-content including videos, e-text, activities and weekly quizzes. You must attempt all these quizzes.  In the 8th and 15th weeks, you are supposed to revise what you have learnt till then and you shall be given assignments and quizzes. Grades obtained in these shall be counted in the final grading.

This shall be followed by proctored examination(s) covering entire syllabus, which shall be duly notified. A team of PI/co-PI, Course Coordinator, Tutor(s)/ Teaching Assistants shall always be there with you to provide you support for any problems you face. You can post your queries in the discussion forums or through mail. At the end of the course, you must provide feedback which will help us to enhance the quality of this course further.

Objectives of the course:

This course has been developed for the students seeking in-depth understanding of the concepts related to drugs of abuse. The course will provide an overview of drug abuse comprising of introduction to drugs and their classification, drug abuse and terminologies related to abuse of drugs. This will be followed up with a detailed study regarding mind altering drugs which includes psychoactive drugs and also opium and its derivatives and their analysis. Similarly, some other classification of drugs will also be taken up subsequently starting with depressants including its classification and some of them in detail for instance alcohol, barbiturates and benzodiazepines. This will be followed up with the study of stimulant and hallucinogenic drugs, which will also include their introduction and classification. Moreover, few of the drugs from these classifications will also be discussed in detail such as amphetamines, caffeine, cocaine, etc. will be taken under stimulants and the hallucinogenic class will comprise of cannabis, LSD and psilocybin. This course will also emphasize on natural and synthetic drugs and this will further be followed up with drug dependency and management. Furthermore, the study will also comprise of laboratory analysis of drugs and also about drug mechanics including pharmacodynamics and its metabolism in the body. This shall be followed up by a detailed study of drugs in terms of legal perspective and how it is abused in the field of sports thereby, also leading to commission of crime. In addition to all, the last few sections will completely concentrate on drugs administration, extraction, elimination, its response on human body and few case studies pertaining to drug abuser will also be taken up.


Eligibility for enrolment:

For credit transfer, a learner should be enrolled in any of the following:

Pursuing Post-Graduate course in Forensic Science

Pursuing Undergraduate course in any science subject

Pursuing LLB or LLM

As optional/elective for related or any other relevant course

For others: No eligibility


Course prerequisite, intended audience and reading materials:


For pursuing this course, students are required to be familiar with the following concepts:

Elementary  chemistry, composition and nature of drugs, drug psychology, principles of instrumental techniques and chemical reactions

Fundamentals of forensic science


Intended Audience     

Pursuing M.Sc. – Forensic Science

Pursuing PG diploma – Forensic Science

Pursuing Certificate courses – Forensic Science

UG Qualified Forensic Science students – B.Sc.(H) Forensic Science

UG Pursuing science students

CBSE-NET Aspirants


Reading Materials:

Drugs of Natural Origin: A Treatise of Pharmacognosy, Sixth Revised Edition, 21 Jan 2010, by Gunnar Samuelsson (Author), Lars Bohlin (Author)

Drugs and Behavior: An Introduction to Behavioral Pharmacology Paperback– Import, 9 Jul 2002, by William A. McKim Ph.D. (Author)

Learning outcomes

After studying this MOOC, you shall be able to

Know in detail about drugs, its classification, about drug abuse and the terminologies related to it.

Gain an in-depth understanding regarding every type of drugs including psychoactive drugs, opium, depressants, stimulants, hallucinogens, natural and synthetic drugs.

Analyse how the continued usage of drugs leads to addiction and dependency and moreover, how collection and preservation of evidences is carried out.

Understand how chemical and laboratory tests are employed for analysis of drugs.

Comprehend regarding drug pharmacodynamics and metabolism in addition with an in-depth knowledge of various color tests carried out for drug identification and also about date rape drugs.

Learn the legal aspects related to drug abuse and also how it leads to commission of crime.

Know in detail about extraction, administration and drug-dose response in addition to gaining an in-depth knowledge and understanding of alkaloids

Analyze how drug is eliminated from the body and know about some case studies related with drug abuse.


Other Skills: Interactivity, Virtual discussion, Time management, Self-Learning

To access the content, please enroll in the course.


Vimal Rarh

Dr. (Mrs.) Vimal Rarh

Senior Faculty at Department of Chemistry, SGTB Khalsa College

University of Delhi


Deputy Director, Centre for e-Learning

 SGTB Khalsa College, University of Delhi


Prof. (Dr.) A.K. Gupta

Professor and Head, Department of Forensic Science,

Sam Higginbottom Institute of Agriculture, Technology and Sciences (SHIATS), Allahabad


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