Review Comment

[PSYC BC3177] Psychology of Drug Use and Abuse

June 13, 2019

McCaskill, E'mett Silver_nugget
[PSYC BC3177] Psychology of Drug Use and Abuse

i am a lazy person, but prof. mccaskill's absolutely incredible course & person compels me to write my first and prob only culpa review.

one of the most genuine, intelligent, caring professors i have come across at barnumbia. an absolute gem.

material is inherently interesting, but professor mccaskill weaves in her experience as a practicing clinician to put a lot of the concepts into context and application. her powerpoints are extremely thorough, and she always emailed us extensively detailed study guides with what was on or not on the exam and minimized stress during exam prep.

+ she is genuinely interested in all her students and freq. encourages people to reach out to her not just for academic concerns but for anything career/life related. plus she gave out smiley-face stress balls to everyone on the last day of class.

imo an easy A/A+ if you put in some effort. second half of the course is pretty difficult because of the more complex neuroscience concepts but if you go to lecture + office hours if ur really struggling you should be ok.

overall a bomb-ass lady & i highly recommend this course!!!!!

Workload:

textbook was all but useless. i agree with prev. reviewers saying you don't need to buy it - prof. mccaskill's lectures + thorough exam study guides are more than you need to get an A.
there were a few papers on drug addiction memoirs, but from what i recall she was a pretty easy grader plus the books she assigns were quite interesting.
+ multiple opportunities for ec.
highly recommend going to lectures, though - second half of the course is heavily neuroscience based, and i had a hell of a time trying to catch up after skipping out on lectures after midterms. she isn't that available during most of the semester other than after class due to her practice but she had extensive office hours and review sessions before the midterm and final.

June 13, 2016

McCaskill, E'mett Silver_nugget
[PSYC BC3177] Psychology of Drug Use and Abuse

Amazing class. I would suggest a background in neuroscience, otherwise it can be a bit hard. Amazing professor, McCaskill has a great lecture style. She has all the information you need (don't buy the textbooks) on the slides, and then talks freely. Just an amazing speaker, really engages you intellectually. Workload is very fair and not difficult, and she does offer extra credit!

Workload:

two tests, cumulative
three memoir essays, minimum 4 pages
extra credit assignment- read a book, 4 page minimum

April 22, 2016

McCaskill, E'mett Silver_nugget
[PSYC BC3177] Psychology of Drug Use and Abuse

Easily the best psych professor at Barnard and probably Columbia too. She has a conversational style of teaching and does not expect too much of you. She is approachable and clearly has a passion for what she teaches, which is refreshing.

Workload:

Midterm, final, Memoir reviews

April 17, 2015

McCaskill, E'mett Silver_nugget
[PSYC W2620] Abnormal Behavior, [PSYC BC3177] Psychology of Drug Use and Abuse, and [PSYC W3625] Clinical Neuropsychology

She is my favorite psychology prof! I've taken her for three classes. She is very knowledgeable and understands that her students have other responsibilities. If you can’t make a deadline because of any issue just go talk to her and she will be understanding. She always incorporates stories of her actual patients into all her classes which makes the material more interesting and gives you real world examples which is great if you’re a psychology major. Take her class! The work load is very manageable and her lectures are great. Best part is that her power points are amazing and very helpful for exams. There are very short memoirs in which she asks her students to write a short paper on. This might sound off-putting but the memoirs she chooses are fascinating. You will read through them in no time. Seriously they are amazing.

Workload:

Abnormal Behavior and Psychology of Drug Use and Abuse: A couple of memoirs, midterm and final (cumulative), extremely manageable. I didn’t purchase the text book and solely relied on lectures and power points and got an A.

Clinical Neuropsychology : both midterm and final are take home! There is a paper, presentation and an assignment that are all fun.

April 08, 2013

McCaskill, E'mett Silver_nugget
[PSYC W2620] Abnormal Behavior and [PSYC BC3177] Psychology of Drug Use and Abuse

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

I love professor McCaskill! Her lectures are engaging because she uses case studies from her professional work to explain disorders and engage the class. These studies are fascinating and really help you learn the disorders.

She also assigns memoirs of people who have suffered from various disorders that you "review." She intends this to be primarily as a "grade-booster" (her words) but don't expect to get 100% if you write a boring paper.

She is a big fan of the DSM multi-axial diagnosis, so you will definitely learn to read a case study and make a full diagnosis. The multiple choice on her exams are moderately difficult.

For people who prefer extremely structured slideshows, this may not be the class for you. Professor McCaskill does have slideshows, but she prefers to tell case studies and brainstorm treatment options with the class. As someone interested in going into the field, I found this invaluable.

A note: drug use and abuse does involve Neuroscience, so I would reccomend taking it after or while you take a neuro class.

Don't expect an easy A (but don't expect to have to do a ton of work and still fail). I've found that if you put in the time, the A is yours.

Workload:

Not too heavy. A midterm and a cumulative final for both classes, as well as 2/3 3-5 page book reviews. That's all!

May 31, 2011

McCaskill, E'mett Silver_nugget
[PSYC BC3177] Psychology of Drug Use and Abuse

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

It's kind of hard to figure out what to say about Professor McCaskill. First of all, she is extremely nice and knowledgeable when it comes to the subject matter. She has years of experience in the field, and she uses that experience to supplement every lecture. However, it sometimes felt like this course lacked direction. Professor McCaskill spent a lot of time focusing on her clinical experience, but the tests ended up really just being about the characteristics of the drugs and their effects, which I learned by reading the textbook the day before the final. All in all, it's not a difficult course. We don't cover that much material because McCaskill spends so much time talking about other things. She is interesting to listen to, though, and it's worth going to the lectures if you would like to hear about her experiences. Otherwise, you can get all the information from the lecture outlines and the textbook.

Workload:

Read 4 memoirs throughout the semester and write a short response. You meet with an assigned "book club" before each response is due.

Attend an AA or NA meeting and write a response.

Midterm and final consisting of a case study, short answer, true/false, and multiple choice.

Opportunities for extra credit in class and on the midterm and final.

December 27, 2007

McCaskill, E'mett Silver_nugget
[PSYC BC3177] Psychology of Drug Use and Abuse

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Professor McCaskill is one of the most engaged and passionate professors I have ever come across.

She seriously cares a lot for the well being of her students and seems to love to teach.

One downside of this class is that the lectures tend to jump around a lot. It makes taking notes very tricky, which makes end of semester review kind of tricky. With that said she does give great printed lecture outlines (even though she doesn't follow them in a succinct fashion).

This is a very interesting class for anyone interested in addiction or clinical psychology. There is a bit of neurophysiology but it is kept fairly simple.

Workload:

Pretty light. The final is cumulative so there's a lot of review at the end. The exams are very multiple choice heavy and are made as painless as possible.

April 07, 2006

McCaskill, E'mett Silver_nugget
[PSYC BC3177] Psychology of Drug Use and Abuse

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

I honestly do not know what to make of this class. I had no idea what I was supposed to be learning the whole time, yet I managed to do all right on the tests and pull out an A- in the class.

She is so sweet and genuinely cares that every student knows what is going on. But that is not always a good thing. Sometimes we need a professor who is just going to put it out there during class and offer the more detailed one-on-one help outside of class.

I thought the neuropharm was very interesting, but we probably spent about 4 class periods the entire semester learning straight neuropharm. The rest was an iffy discussion of addiction and psychology that most of us already knew from other courses and/or common sense.

Overall probably not worth your time, unless you really like to read addiction memoirs and engage in somewhat useless lecture style discussion. Or you want to hang out with McCaskill, because that's definitely worth doing.

Workload:

midterm, final, three "book club" like meetings and response papers to those meetings, and a longer paper at the end of the semester about one of the memoirs.

January 15, 2006

McCaskill, E'mett Silver_nugget
[PSYC BC3177] Psychology of Drug Use and Abuse

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

E'Mett herself is very cute and sincerely interested in each one of her students. Because of this, however, she can spend entire class periods listening to what each one has to say on simple topics that could have been explained very quickly (Ex: One time a student asked "Like, when I go to parties, why is is that I can drink so much more vodka than rum? It's like my body is just, like, tolerant to one and not the other?" And instead of telling them that this is not the time or the place she allowed the whole class discussion to go on a huge tangent). Although it's clear that E'Mett knows what she is talking about, it seems hard for her to keep focused on the subject at hand. As a result, I went through this class feeling like I didn't know what I was supposed to be learning at all. Her class basically seems unncessary because it is a strange mixture of neuropharmacology and psychology that isn't neurpharmacological enough to give you a clear understanding of what is going on at the level of the neurotransmitters and not psychological enough to give you a clear understanding of what it means to be addicted to drugs. If you're interested in this topic, go to the internet, read a book, or ask a professor. But don't take this class.

Workload:

Read 3 memoirs of addiction, meet with groups to discuss the book and write a very short response paper; a midterm and final that requires you to study the outlines she gives every class (Caution: If you understand the biology of neurons, you'll do fine; if not - you'll struggle); Also written final paper 6-10 pgs about "what is addiction?" Very easy

December 16, 2005

McCaskill, E'mett Silver_nugget
[PSYC BC3177] Psychology of Drug Use and Abuse

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

I'll be the first to say that McCaskill is terrible. She's a very nice woman, but she should not be teaching anything neurobiology-related. She has a very "la-di-da" attitude, doesn't get anything done during class, and gives us outlines that are supposed to help us, but... I'm trying to study for the final exam right now and she actually put on an outline that opioids inhibit GABA by releasing NEURONS that normally tonically control dopamine. It's not like she doesn't know that that's wrong. She is just all over the place. I wish I had a stricter, harder teacher for this class because I don't feel like I have actually learned anything. Avoid any classes with her if you have taken any biology. She will only frustrate you.

Workload:

It's any easy class that ends up being more difficult because she sucks. One midterm, final, and final paper. A lot of people didn't bother with the textbook, but I thought it was interesting and clearer than McCaskill.

December 30, 2004

McCaskill, E'mett Silver_nugget
[PSYC BC3177] Psychology of Drug Use and Abuse

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Such a nice and genuine professor whose love for her students and the subect matter always comes through. She is extremely approachable and makes you feel very comfortable going to talk to her, whether its about something you didnt understand in class or your own issues with drugs. More often than not, her lectures turn into open discussions in which she encourages students to speak freely about their knowledge/experiences with different drugs. She is very interested in discussing why people do drugs and the motivating factors behind abuse as well as talking about the different drugs that are common on campus and popular among students. Overall a very enjoyable and eye opening experience. She doesn't really follow a textbook but must MEMORIZE textbook for the midterm/final, even if she says not to and even if she didn't really cover things in class.

Workload:

A midterm, cum final, 3 papers each based on a different book. the midterm and final are difficult - very nitpicky, asks very detailed questions. focuses especially on neuroscience and how drugs work at the level of the receptor. you need memorize ALL class notes and relevent chapters in the textbook in order to do well.

October 28, 2004

McCaskill, E'mett Silver_nugget
[PSYC BC1117] Behavioral Neuroscience, Topics in Neuroethics, and [PSYC BC3177] Psychology of Drug Use and Abuse

Please keep in mind that this review is more than 5 years old.

Professor McCaskill is a gem of a teacher. She is by far one of the top three teachers I have had in three and half years of college. She actually knows the material she is teaching and can therefore answer your questions...and when she is stumped she doesnt make something up but actually looks up the answer and gets back to you. Very rare for a Columbia Prof. She is more than willing to stay VERY late in order to meet with you and help you out. She hold amazing review sessions for BN. Very worth going to because if you do go she knows youre devoted and will give you hints as to what is on the test and what is not. She is the type of Professor who will sit with you for hours to help you with anything, whether it be school work or grad schools apps. She is even willing to help you out with work from other classes. She is just a great teacher...though much better in small setting classes. I highly recommend taking her for a seminar rather than a lecture becuase the lecture could get a little tedious. But in a small group setting she is amazing.

Workload:

Not bad. Drug Use and Abuse- midterm (both are difficult if you dont study) final, paper (REALLY easy). BN- two midterms and a final. You MUST study for these...its a lot of memorization.

Directory Data

Dept/Subj Directory Course Professor Year Semester Time Section
PSYB / PSYC PSYB PSYC BC3177: Psychology of Drug Use & Abuse E'mett McCaskill 2011 Spring MW / 6:10- 7:25 PM 1
PSYB / PSYC PSYB PSYC BC3177: Psychology of Drug Use & Abuse E'mett McCaskill 2010 Spring F / 10:30- 1:00 PM 1
PSYB / PSYC PSYB PSYC BC3177: Psychology of Drug Use & Abuse E'mett McCaskill 2009 Spring F / 10:30- 1:00 PM 1
PSYB / PSYC PSYB PSYC BC3177: Psychology of Drug Use & Abuse E'mett McCaskill 2006 Fall TR / 4:10- 5:25 PM 1
PSYB / PSYC PSYB PSYC BC3177: Psychology of Drug Use & Abuse E'mett McCaskill 2004 Fall MW / 1:10- 2:25 PM 1
PSYB / PSYC PSYB PSYC BC3177: Psychology of Drug Use & Abuse E'mett McCaskill 2003 Fall MW / 1:10- 2:25 PM 1
PSYB / PSYC PSYB PSYC BC3177: Psychology of Drug Use & Abuse Randi Shane 2002 Fall MW / 6:10- 7:25 PM 1