NIDA for Teens: The Science Behind Drug Abuse
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Drugs on the Street (Module 5)

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This module discusses two illegal drugs: heroin and cocaine. Many people consider cocaine and heroin to be hard-core “street” drugs, but increasingly, younger people in all kinds of communities are using these dangerous drugs. Heroin and cocaine both have a huge impact on the health of the brain and the body. Abuse of these drugs changes the brain. Both are illegal and highly addictive. Sometimes these drugs are used in combination.

Students will learn how heroin and cocaine affect the brain and body. They will also explore information on the drugs’ short- and long-term effects, including addiction.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this module, students can:

  • Explain how heroin and cocaine use affects the brain and body.
  • Explain how heroin and cocaine use affects normal neurotransmission.
  • Understand how heroin and cocaine can change the brain and cause addiction.


Download this entire module in PDF format at the following link: Module 5 (PDF, 520 KB).