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Lackawanna College

PSY245OA ~Drugs & Behavior

Online Classroom

January 4th, 2016 – January 22nd, 2016

Instructor:        Tina Bruno, M.S., N.CC, LPC, CCDP-D                    

Phone: (570) 955-1478

Office:             Angeli Hall Room 105A              

E-mail:  E-mail is checked daily Monday-Friday

Office Hours:   Online through Chat  at a mutually convenient scheduled time.

Be sure to read this syllabus over thoroughly. The course syllabus is considered a contract between instructor and students. Your continued enrollment in the course equates to your signature on the contract, indicating your

agreement to abide by the terms of this contract.

Required Text: Buzzed, Fully Revised & Updated 4th Edition;

Authors: Cynthia Kuhn, PhD. & Wilkie Wilson, PhD

ISBN: 9780393344516              Copyright Year: 2014 Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company, Incorporated   

Description of Course:

PSY245 (formerly SSS215) - Drugs and Behavior This course will provide an in-depth examination of the major drugs both legal and illegal used in American society. Concentration will be on the effects of recreational and prescription drugs on human health and behavior. (3 Credits)


Objective: 1. Distinguish among illicit drug use, deviant drug use, drug misuse, drug abuse, and drug addiction.

Objective: 2. Describe the methods for gathering information about drug use and recognize the advantages and disadvantages of each method.

Objective: 3. Become aware of recent trends in illicit drug use among high school students and adults of all races and ethnic groups.

Objective: 4. Recognize psychosocial variables related to drug use.

Objective: 5. Describe three basic processes relating to addiction.

Objective: 6. Discuss some current methods of treating addiction.

Objective: 7. Identify the major subdivisions of the nervous system and describe their function.

Objective: 8. Complete a drug analysis paper describing a specific drug, the scope of the use of the drug in the U.S., how the drug affects the brain, the acute and chronic effects of the drug, the dependence potential of the drug, the effects of the drug on an unborn fetus, and the treatments available for people who abuse the drug

Online Course Attendance Policy:

Students enrolled in credit-bearing courses at Lackawanna College will fail any course(s) in which they accumulate absences beyond the maximum number allowed. This pertains to online courses as well.

Attendance is defined by participating in an academic activity within the online classroom, which includes posting in a graded discussion forum or submitting a written assignment. Postings not related to the aforementioned activities will not count for attendance purposes.


# of Days Required for Discussion in an Online Course

Maximum # of Weeks Allowed without Discussion




  • You are REQUIRED to engage in discussion Monday to Friday with a minimum of 8 posts per week.
  • You are REQUIRED to respond to the initial DQs posted AND respond to your classmates’ posts.
  • Responses need to be substantive. See the document titled Good Discussions in your Handouts and Links.
  • Responses that do not move the conversation forward by providing information to which others can respond and build upon will NOT be counted toward your weekly score.
  • Students who miss one week of discussion will be DROPPED from the course.
  • Students who do not log on to the course within the drop/add period for the course will be DROPPED from the course.


Online Course Discussion Policy   

In order to understand, remember, and benefit from what we learn in class, discussion and interaction are critical. Responses such as, “I like what you said.” “I agree.” Or “Good thinking.” are NOT acceptable. Also, you should NOT simply repeat what someone else has already said.

Remember you are required to post Monday to Friday and no less than 8 posts per week. 

Good Discussions in Handouts and Links will help you, but you can also use this rubric to gain all possible points for your contributions and, more importantly, to get the most out of our class discussion!

Intercession Online Classroom Discussion and Interaction Rubric

Up to 40 points per week can be earned for responses to Discussion Questions =120 points total

What Should I Do?

Points Available

Did I do This?


Points Earned

Answer each Discussion Question directly demonstrating a clear understanding of the material, support your response with research or reading, and promote conversation (2 post)





Respond to at least two classmates’ posts (2 posts)





Continue each conversation with at least one additional reply to each peer (2 posts)





Respond to at least one of the teacher’s secondary questions, conversing with a classmate who responds to the same question (2 posts)





Be sure all responses are detailed and clear and are posted Monday to Friday.





Be sure that all responses relate to the course reading and notes, your own everyday life, or to both






Provides the class with a response that is non-generic and inspiring – meaning that they learn from what you have contributed and can continue the conversation





Use proper grammar, spelling, and netiquette











Withdrawal Policy:

A student has the privilege of withdrawing from any courses or from the College itself without academic penalty up to and including the final date for withdrawal indicated on the College calendar.

To withdraw officially from a course or from the College, a student must obtain the proper withdrawal form from the Student Affairs Office or from your Center Director, complete this form and submit it to the Registrar's Office before the final day for withdrawal without academic penalty as indicated on the College calendar. If a student stops attending a course for which he/she is registered after the published census date (end of drop/add) without having officially withdrawn from the course, the student will be assigned an AW (penalty-grade failure) for the class. No exceptions will be made.


Students who violate the College's Academic Integrity Policy and fail a course in consequence may not exercise the withdrawal privilege in that particular course.

Financial obligations to the College will be determined according to the Refund Policy.


Instructor Policies

Online courses allow flexibility for "attending class" (so-to-speak) at your convenience, as well as require self-motivation and time-management on your part. You can expect online courses to take as much time and dedication as short-term, in-class courses, and from that plan your schedules accordingly.  Because this online course is a

3 week course, it is more concentrated. It is important to keep in mind that online courses are not for every student.  If the pace of this short-term course is too fast for you or if you are having difficulty with independent time-management, you can consider enrolling in an on-campus course.  Speak up soon, e-mail or call me so we can discuss your concerns sooner rather than later to ensure the best in return for your choice.


Participation will be accomplished through online discussions and completion of weekly assignments turned in on time. Students are expected to "attend" class on a regular basis. Attendance is noted as assignments are turned in and discussion questions are answered. You are expected to have read all material prior to the due date to incorporate the material into assignments and discussions. It will be through inter-active participation that course information is learned and retained.



The assignments in this course are tracked by points. Use the Points Value column to check your grade based on how many points you have earned. You might also estimate how many more points you need in order to earn the final grade that you want.

Letter Grade

Numeric Range

Points Value

Quality Points


96 – 100




90 – 95




87 – 89




83 – 86




80 – 82




77 – 79




73 – 76




70 – 72




67 – 69




60 – 66




0 – 59




Due Dates and Late Penalties:

Late assignments will earn a penalty. Technical difficulties are NOT a justification for lateness.


The grace period for late assignments is as follows:

  • 1 day late-10% deduction off of the assignment grade
  • 2 days late-20% off of the assignment grade
  • 3 days late-the assignment will receive a grade of 0%


There will be no “extra credit.”


Academic Integrity:

Academic dishonesty in any form, such as plagiarism and cheating, will not be tolerated either in the online or traditional classrooms. Sanctions will include an automatic F for plagiarism, but the severity or frequency of the violation may result in dismissal from the College as well.


The following are among the forms of dishonesty, in a classroom of any type, for which sanctions may be applied:

  • Using books, notes or other materials during an examination, unless expressly permitted;
  • Using purchased essays, term papers or preparatory research for such papers;
  • Copying others' work or engaging in unauthorized cooperation during an assignment or examination;
  • Allowing another student to copy from an examination or other assignment intended to be performed independently;
  • Borrowing from published works, whether material is taken verbatim or with minor alterations, without proper and/or sufficient acknowledgment;
  • Submitting as one’s own work originally done by someone else;
  • Submitting the same written report in more than one course without prior approval from the instructor(s) involved;
  • Stealing examinations or assignments;
  • Supplying or selling examinations or assignments;
  • Misrepresenting statements concerning work submitted;
  • Falsifying or fabricating experimental data or results;
  • Falsifying or fabricating the need for extensions on papers or make-up examinations.
  • Misrepresenting identity in an online course


Disability Statement

Lackawanna College is an Affirmative Action, Equal Employment Opportunity institution.  Students with disabilities and other needs should feel free to contact the instructor privately if there are services and adaptations which can be made to accommodate specific needs.  Students who are having difficulties with class material are strongly advised to seek assistance in the reading and writing lab.  If you feel that you have a disability that has not been formally documented, you may meet with Ms. Christine Kiehart in the academic development office to discuss your options. Please note that disability services do not include exemption from participation requirements in courses considered part of the School of Distance Education, including online and hybrid courses.

Lackawanna College Notice of Nondiscrimination

Lackawanna College will not discriminate in its educational programs, activities, or employment practices, based on race, color, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, age, religion, ancestry, union membership, or any other legally protected classification. Announcement of this policy is in accordance with State Law including the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act and with Federal Law including Titles VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Sections 503 and 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.


Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972 is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in federally funded education programs and activities. Lackawanna College is committed to providing an educational and work environment that is free from unlawful sexual discrimination including sexual harassment, sexual violence, and gender based harassment. 


In accordance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, Lackawanna College will not tolerate any forms of sexual misconduct including but not limited to: sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual violence and gender-based harassment by employees, students or third parties. This includes prohibiting discrimination against pregnant and parenting students. The College also prohibits retaliation against any person who makes a claim of discrimination or harassment or who provides information in such an investigation. This policy applies to admissions, employment, treatment and access to all programs and activities that take place either on or off the campus at Lackawanna College. 


Lackawanna College will fully and promptly investigate all allegations of sexual misconduct and will take action reasonably designed to resolve the complaint in an equitable manner, end a hostile environment if one has been created, prevent its recurrence, and, when appropriate, take steps to remedy its effects on individuals and the college community.


Lackawanna College complies with Title IX and all other federal laws and regulations that prohibit discrimination in education programs or activities receiving federal financial assistance.

Reports or inquiries regarding nondiscrimination should be made to:

Title IX Coordinator/ Executive Director of the Student Wellness Program, Marsha Pigga, Angeli Hall, Room 102, 501 Vine Street, Scranton PA, 18509 (570) 955-1466/ (570) 677-7589,

Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action inquiries: Anita Cola, Affirmative Action Officer/Dean of Continuing Education, Angeli Hall, Room 300C, Vine Street, Scranton PA (570) 961-7815, or Dan LaMagna, Affirmative Action Officer/Dean of Students, Angeli Hall, Room 104, Vine Street, Scranton PA, (570) 504-1579,  


Additional information regarding Title IX requirements and how to file a complaint with the Office of Civil Rights: Office of Civil Rights at, 800-421-3481. Philadelphia Office: Office for Civil Rights U.S. Department of Education, The Wanamaker Building,100 Penn Square East, Suite 515, Philadelphia, PA 19107-3323 Telephone: 215-656-8541, Email:   


Portfolio and Coursework

Lackawanna College will empower you to experience learning by inspiring your critical thinking, assessing your talents and skills, motivating you toward a career choice, and encouraging you to make a difference. In evidence of this learning, the College requires a graduation portfolio containing Career Documents, including a résumé, two letters of recommendation, and a career exploration; Core Coursework, including a research paper from College Writing; three sample papers or projects from Major Coursework; and a Lackawanna College Reflection Paper.



Course Schedule:



Course Objective Met

Related Assignment, Assessment, or Learning Activity


Jan 4th- Jan 10th 

 The Central Nervous System, Brain’s Natural Reward System and the effects of Drugs on the Brain

1, 2, 3,4,5,6,7


Read Chapter 13 Brain Basics, Chapter 14 Drug Basics, Chapter 15 Addiction & Chapter 16 Legal Issues  

Answer and participate in ongoing Discussion pertaining to Week 1 DQ1-4 Monday through Friday

Participate in the Discussion Debate Forum for Debate #1 – Legalization of Marijuana  From 01/04/16-01/13/16

Journal Assignment #1 ~How do we find out about drug usage in the USA? What are the methods? Due 01/10/16 by 11:55PM


Jan 11th- Jan 17th 


Sedatives, Hypnotics, Ecstasy, Opiates and Hallucinogens



Read Chapter 1 Alcohol, Chapter 7 Marijuana, Chapter 3 Ecstasy, Chapter 9 Opiates & Chapter 10  Sedatives

Answer and participate in ongoing discussions pertaining to Week 2 DQ1-4 Monday through Friday

Participate in the Discussion Debate Forum for Debate #2-  Drug Courts~ Yay or Nay?  From 01/10/16- 01/20/16

Journal Assignment #2 ~Review current data and summarize the recent trends in illicit drug use among high school students and adults         Due 01/17/16 by 11:55PM


Jan 18th- Jan 22nd 


Stimulants, Nicotine, Caffeine, Inhalants & Steroids


Read Chapter 12 Stimulants, Chapter 8 Nicotine, Chapter 2 Caffeine, Chapter 6  Inhalants, & Chapter 11 Steroids

Answer and participate in ongoing Discussion pertaining to Week 3 DQ1-4 Monday through Friday

Drug Analysis Paper Due 01/19/16 at 11:55PM

Exam Due by 01/22/16 at 11:55PM


Feedback Journal Assignments

Objective: Journal writing can facilitate reflection and allow students to express feelings regarding their educational experiences. This journal assignment serves as an ongoing opportunity to engage you, the student in the most important concepts and ideas in this course. Your journal entries should not merely summarize what you have read, nor should they focus only on your feelings. Instead, they should demonstrate your ability to conduct a critical inquiry (the steps involved in collecting and analyzing ideas or information). These reflective and critical thinking skills are necessary in many of the fields associated with psychology or any job within the social science field.

  • Each Feedback Journal will be graded based on the criteria outlined in the grading rubric below.
  • All assignments must be uploaded through the Assignment Page on the Portal and include this completed rubric.


Feedback Journal #1

Due January 10th by 11:55PM

How do we find out about drug usage in the USA? What are the methods?

Here's a chart that delineates the way the SAMSHA, Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration collects data. This chart includes the advantages and disadvantages of each method. 

Using credible internet resources, research these methods and give an example of each. Include in your journal entry your thoughts and feelings about this information. Be specific about what you liked, or did not like (or understand).  Include two topics you learned from the reading as well as two critical thought questions based on your summary along with your answers to these questions.     


Feedback Journal #2

Due January 17th by 11:55PM
This is the link to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Trends in Prevalence of Various Drugs for Ages 12 or Older, Ages 12 to 17, Ages 18 to 25, and Ages 26 or Older; 2012 - 2014 (in percent)

After reviewing the data summarize the recent trends in illicit drug use among high school students and adults. Include in your journal entry your thoughts and feelings about this information. Be specific about what you liked, or did not like (or understand).  Include two topics you learned from the reading as well as two critical thought questions based on your summary along with your answers to these questions.  


Feedback Journal Grading Rubric

50  Points Each Journal


What Should I Do?

Points Available

Did I do This?



Points Earned

Reflection of two topics that you are focusing on from one of the chapters; how it resonates with you; how it relate to your life situation, personal reflections, future goals, etc.





Two critical thought questions & answers





Proper spelling, punctuation and grammar.





Format: font, margins, heading.

All papers are in Times New Roman, 12-point font.












Drug Analysis Paper

This Assignment is due by 11:55PM on 01/19/16.

Each student will complete a drug analysis paper (5-8 pages, APA format) describing a specific drug, the scope of the use of the drug in the U.S., how the drug affects the brain, the acute and chronic effects of the drug, the dependence potential of the drug, the effects of the drug on an unborn fetus, and provide an analysis of the treatments available for people who abuse the drug.


The written paper is to be completed in APA format with relevant reference list.  This assignment is due by 11:55PM on January 19th 2016.


  • All assignments must be uploaded through the Assignment Page on the Portal and include this completed rubric.

Drug Analysis Paper Grading Rubric

   125 Points

What Should I Do?

Points Available

Did I do This?


Points Earned

Provide a comprehensive and concise description of the specific drug including the scope of the use of the drug in the U.S. and how the drug affects the brain.






Reviewed the acute and chronic effects of the drug, the dependence potential of the drug and the effects of the drug on an unborn fetus





Provided an analysis of the various treatments available for people who abuse the drug





Structure of the paper is clear and easy to follow.
Paragraph transitions are logical and maintain the flow of thought throughout the paper.
Rules of grammar, usage, and punctuation are followed; spelling is correct.
Language is clear and precise; sentences display consistently strong, varied structure.
Professional language is used throughout the paper 





Paper follows all designated guidelines.
- Paper is 5-8 pages long
-Format enhances readability of paper and follows APA format very well. 






Discussion Debates

Discussion Debate #1

Legalize Marijuana or not?

Open Discussion January 4th – January 13th, 2016

Hot topic for a number of years now. Now it's your turn to get in on the debate. Read the attached article then you are to state your position in the Debate Discussion forum and respond to each other's posts. Are you for or against the legalization of marijuana across the United States and state your reasons.  Cite credible internet resources that support your facts.


Discussion Debate #2

Drug Court, Yay or Nay?

Open Discussion January 10th – January 20th, 2016

Using the following resources take a position on whether Drug Courts can assist those in need of substance abuse/addiction treatment. Do the benefits outweigh the costs of the taxpayer's dollars?


Discussion Debate Grading Rubric

25 Points

What Should I Do?

Points Available

Did I do This?


Points Earned

Demonstrated respect for others: All statements and responses were respectful, used appropriate language, was clear, accurate and thorough





Rebuttal: All counter-arguments were accurate, relevant and strong





Use of Facts/Statistics: Every major point was well supported with several relevant facts, statistics and/or examples





Organization: All arguments were clearly tied to an idea (premise) and organized in a tight, logical fashion





Understanding of Topic: The team clearly understood the topic in depth and presented their information forcefully and convincingly






Final Quiz

Quiz will open on January 19th and stay open until January 22nd 11:55PM

This Quiz will be comprised of Multiple Choice and Short Answer questions covering all areas outlined in the Objectives as well as basic drug knowledge we cover throughout the course.

Breakdown of all Graded Assignments

Discussion Boards (40 points per week x 3 weeks)

   120 points (24%)

Feedback Journal Assignment 1

    50 points (10%)

Feedback Journal Assignment 2

    50 points ( 10%)

Discussion Debate #1

    25 points ( 5%)

Discussion Debate #2

    25 points ( 5%)

Drug Analysis Paper

   125 points (25%)

Final Quiz

   105 points (21%)


   500 points (100%)


(.pdf, 289K)