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Course Materials

What You Should Already Know

This is an introductory course, so there aren’t any prerequisite courses that you should have already taken. The course covers topics you’ve undoubtedly heard about to some extent. The content of this course should help you expand your knowledge.

Learning Outcomes

After completing the course, you should be able to do the following:

  1. Identify reasons people use and abuse drugs, and explain the nature of drug addiction.
  2. Describe the physical effects of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, stimulants, steroids, depressants, hallucinogens, inhalants, and club drugs.
  3. Discuss treatment available for drug addiction, and, more importantly, prevention of drug use.

Course Materials

This course includes a syllabus (the document you are reading now), lessons, assignments/quizzes, and a final exam.  You do not need to purchase a textbook or any other materials for Health 45.

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Course Organization


Welcome to the Drug Use and Abuse course. This class will begin by explaining drug basics. This will help you understand reasons behind why people use drugs, how they use them, and what types of drugs are commonly abused. Following this overview will be an in-depth analysis of several different types of drugs. The first drug we will consider in this course is alcohol—the most abused of all drugs. Second, we will examine tobacco—a substance under judicial scrutiny. Third, we will look at illicit drugs and the uniquely dangerous consequences for their users. Finally, we will discuss treatment strategies and the need for timely prevention of drug use.

Use this course as an opportunity to become informed about the numerous drugs that are part of our society. The misuse or abuse of drugs can lead to tragic consequences in your life and the lives of your family and friends. I hope that by learning about these substances, you will choose a drug-free life.

Units and Assignments

Each unit is broken down into lessons—these will outline the information you will learn in the lesson. At the end of each lesson will be Self Check questions that will help you evaluate your understanding of the basic concepts that were presented in the lesson and prepare for the unit quiz (computer-graded) assignments. At the end of the course, you will take a final exam covering all the information in the course.

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Final Exam

The final exam for this course has 100 multiple-choice questions about material from each of the three units. The final exam is worth 40 percent of your grade.

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Your grade for this course is determined by how well you do on the three graded assignments and the final exam. It is based on the following grade scale. Remember, you must pass the final exam in order to pass the course.

Assignment Percentage of Final Grade
Unit 1 Quiz 20%
Unit 2 Quiz 20%
Unit 3 Quiz 20%
Final Exam 40%
Grade Scale
A 100%–94% C 76%–74%
A- 93%–90% C- 73%–70%
B+ 89%–87% D+ 69%–67%
B 86%–84% D 66%–64%
B- 83%–80% D- 63%–60%
C+ 79%–77% E (fail) 59 or below

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Copyright Notice

The materials used in connection with this online course are only for the use of students enrolled in this course for purposes associated with this course and may not be retained or further disseminated. Any copying or further dissemination of these materials may be subject to applicable U.S. Copyright Laws. For questions or more information, please visit the BYU Copyright Licensing Office website.

“Members of the BYU community who willfully disregard this Copyright Policy or the BYU Copyright Guidelines place themselves individually at risk of legal action and may incur personal liability for their conduct. The unauthorized use or distribution of copyrighted material, including unauthorized peer-to-peer file sharing, may subject individuals to civil and criminal liabilities, including actual and statutory damages, costs and fees of litigation, fines, and imprisonment

Violations of the Copyright Policy may result in university disciplinary action including termination of university enrollment or employment.” (Emphasis added. Excerpt taken from the BYU Copyright Policy)

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Accessibility Notice

BYU is committed to providing a working and learning atmosphere which reasonably accommodates persons with disabilities who are otherwise qualified to participate in BYU's programs and activities. In this spirit, BYU Independent Study aspires to improve web accessibility for users. While not required by law, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Levels A and AA provide a wide range of helpful recommendations to make Web content more accessible. BYU Independent Study strives to apply WCAG 2.0 recommendations where feasible, but may deviate from any recommendations that would result in an undue hardship to BYU Independent Study or alterations to program and course content and objectives. If you have questions about accessibility, or if you need to report problems with any accessibility features please see our Accessibilities and Accommodations Web Page.

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Copyright © 2012 Brigham Young University. All rights reserved.
Published by the
Department of Independent Study
Division of Continuing Education
Brigham Young University
120 MORC
Provo, Utah 84602-1514

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Course Policies

These policies are specific to this course. For additional information about general policies, please refer to Independent Study Course Policies page.


Summary: 3 computer-graded assignments, may be resubmitted once for a fee

A NOTE ABOUT PLAGIARISM: Plagiarism is a form of cheating. It is taking the work of someone else and claiming it as your own. To simply copy and paste ideas, words, or stories from the internet is stealing. This will NOT be tolerated at BYU Independent Study. If you plagiarize, you will receive an incomplete on the assignment and must pay a fee to resubmit your own work. If you plagiarize twice, you will automatically fail the course.

Final Exam

Summary: 1 proctored, computer-graded exam, may retake once for a fee, must pass to earn credit for the course

You must pass the final exam with a score of sixty percent or higher in order to pass this course. If you fail the final exam, you may retake the exam once for a fee. If you need to retake an exam, contact the Independent Study office. 

Course Duration

You have 1 year to complete this course. You may purchase one 3-month extension if you need more than a year to complete this course.

Getting Help

Please use the help menu in this course to contact Independent Study or your instructor.

University Policy - Title IX Statement

Preventing & Responding to Sexual Misconduct

In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Brigham Young University prohibits unlawful sex discrimination against any participant in its education programs or activities. The university also prohibits sexual harassment—including sexual violence—committed by or against students, university employees, and visitors to campus. As outlined in university policy, sexual harassment, dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking are considered forms of "Sexual Misconduct" prohibited by the university.

University policy requires all university employees in a teaching, managerial, or supervisory role to report all incidents of Sexual Misconduct that come to their attention in any way, including but not limited to face-to-face conversations, a written class assignment or paper, class discussion, email, text, or social media post. Incidents of Sexual Misconduct should be reported to the Title IX Coordinator at t9coordinator@byu.edu or (801) 422-8692. Reports may also be submitted through EthicsPoint at https://titleix.byu.edu/report or 1-888-238-1062 (24-hours a day).

BYU offers confidential resources for those affected by Sexual Misconduct, including the university’s Victim Advocate, as well as a number of non-confidential resources and services that may be helpful. Additional information about Title IX, the university’s Sexual Misconduct Policy, reporting requirements, and resources can be found at http://titleix.byu.edu or by contacting the university’s Title IX Coordinator.