Addicted to Disney

Neurobiology of Addiction

The 1930’s was the decade that saw the repeal of prohibition as well as the first full-length animated feature film by Walt Disney. We’ve merged these two landmark dates by creating a course that introduces the neurobiology of addiction through viewing and discussion of animated Disney classics. Our course, “Addicted to Disney,” runs over one semester. On Day #1, the class will be oriented to the course goals, objectives, and grading policy. The final grade will be the average of 2 examinations (the final is not cumulative). The recommended textbook is Kaplan and Sadock’s Synopsis of Psychiatry: Behavioral Sciences/Clinical Psychiatry, 10th Edition. What distinguishes this course from other post-bachelorette curricula is that we supplement traditional classroom didactic with a discussion of selected Disney films.

Topics include the history of substance use (including the use of psilocybin in shamanistic rituals, prohibition, and the blood feud between the Hatfields and McCoys), public policy, neurobiology, intoxication syndromes, withdrawal states, and treatments. In addition to selected animated Disney films, our course syllabus provides a supplemental movie list that offers a) straight forward depictions of substance use disorders (Pink Floyd’s The Wall) and b) depictions of substance-induced mental disorders (Goodfellas).

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