NIDA for Teens: The Science Behind Drug Abuse
Find NIDA for Teens on: NIDAnews on Twitter NIDANIH on YouTube NIDANIH on Facebook
Educators

Heads Up (Grades 6‒10)

You are here

Heads Up: Real News About Drugs and Your Body (Grades 6–10)

Since 2002, NIDA and Scholastic Inc. have partnered to create Heads Up: Real News About Drugs and Your Body—a science-based education series that provides teachers and students with innovative materials about the effects of drugs and drug abuse on the brain and body. New materials—including articles for teens, classroom lessons, and student worksheets—are distributed every school year through Scholastic’s in-school magazines, as well as posters and Web-only materials.

In the exercises below, use the printable lesson plans and student worksheets to reinforce comprehension of the accompanying student articles. For the complete curriculum, visit the Scholastic Web site.

Printable Lesson Plans and Worksheets

New! Heads Up: Real News About Drugs and Your Body, 2012‒2013 Compilation
Students use scientific facts about drugs to learn how drug abuse can affect life decisions, body health, and brain health.

New! The Awesomely Evolved Human Brain
Students solve brainteasers and answer critical-thinking questions about how drugs interfere with some of the brain’s survival skills in real-world situations.

Drugs + Your Life
Students analyze graphs and use basic statistical probability skills to respond to critical thinking questions about how stimulant use increases the likelihood of certain violent behaviors.

Drugs + Your Body
Students use scientific facts regarding how drugs affect key areas of the body to respond to questions about the health effects and consequences of drug abuse.

Drugs + Your Brain
Students use scientific facts regarding key areas of the brain and what they control to respond to questions about the health effects of drug abuse.

The Myth of “Medical Marijuana”
Students use facts regarding marijuana and the Food and Drug Administration approval process to answer assessment questions.

The Science of Marijuana: How THC Affects the Brain
Students use scientific facts regarding marijuana to label parts of the brain and respond to critical thinking questions about how marijuana can influence behavior.

Marijuana Facts: Breaking Down the Myths
Students use factual information regarding marijuana use to create public service announcements about the drug.

Prescription Stimulants
Students discuss questions and take a quiz about prescription stimulants, how they can safely treat ADHD, and why abusing them is dangerous.

Prescription Pain Medications
Students discuss questions and take a quiz about how prescription pain medications affect the body and why abusing them is dangerous.

Straight Talk on Prescription Drugs
In the student article “Straight Talk on Prescription Drugs,” a teen reporter interviews the Director of NIDA. Students discuss questions about prescription drug abuse and apply factual information regarding prescription medications to respond to critical thinking questions.

Facts Into Action
Students learn and practice strategies for using the facts they know to make smart decisions when it comes to drugs.

TSI: Teen Science Investigations
Students learn how the winners of the 2009 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair Addiction Science Awards used the scientific method in their award-winning research projects.

Real Questions, Real Answers
Students learn facts about drug abuse from leading scientists who answer real questions asked by teens during past NIDA’s Drug Facts Chat Day.

The Truth About “Rehab” and Drug Addiction
Students learn about the reality of treatment for drug addiction.

Stimulant Addiction
Students learn how stimulants, such as cocaine, present serious health risks and can damage the brain and body.

Genetics and Addiction
Students learn about new information in the field of genetics that will help in the prevention and treatment of drug addiction.

Teens and Decision Making
Recent research shows that emotions have an edge over logic in teen decision-making.

Teen Health: Talking With Your Doctor
Teens learn important information on talking about personal health issues and drug abuse with doctors and other health care professionals.

The Truth About Hydrocodone
The active ingredient in many prescription pain relievers is a powerful drug—and is dangerous when not used as prescribed.

Drug Abuse and Impairment
Students find out the facts about impairment from drug abuse and how it can affect a wide range of abilities.

Health Literacy and Drug Abuse
Students get the facts on how drug abuse and addiction can affect almost every system in the body.

Stress and Drug Abuse
Students learn about how the body responds to stress, and how stress puts people at risk for drug abuse or relapse to a drug addiction.

Tobacco Addiction and Secondhand Smoke
Students find out facts about the chemicals in tobacco that make it addictive, as well as the deadly effects of smoking and secondhand smoke.

The Science of Addiction
Students learn why scientists consider drug addiction to be a chronic disease, and the roles that environment and genetics also play.

Drug Abuse in Social Settings: A Serious Risk for Teens
Students learn about making tough decisions in social settings where drugs may be offered to them, as well as the harmful effects that those drugs cause. This lesson plan includes a lesson strategy, discussion questions, and assessment tips. The student worksheet includes a quiz to test comprehension and a student activity to provide practice with analyzing a scientific survey.

Prescription Drug Abuse: Teens in Danger
Students learn the facts and dangers about prescription drug abuse. This lesson plan includes a lesson strategy, discussion questions, and assessment tips. The student worksheet includes a quiz to test comprehension.

Inhalants: A Looming Threat for All Teens
Students learn about the dangers of abusing inhalants. This lesson plan includes a lesson strategy, discussion questions, and assessment tips. The student worksheet includes a quiz to test comprehension and a student activity to provide practice with analyzing scientific information.

Methamphetamine: A Threatening Scourge on Teens, Families, and Communities
This lesson plan includes a lesson strategy, discussion questions, and assessment tips. The student worksheet includes a quiz to test comprehension and a student activity to provide practice with analyzing scientific data.

Obesity and Drug Addiction
This lesson plan includes a lesson strategy, discussion questions, and an activity that is designed to give students information about the connection between drug addiction and obesity, increase students’ understanding of addiction and the brain, and broaden students’ understanding of the scientific process.

Printable Posters and Teaching Guides

Facts on Drugs: Teen Guide to Making Smart Decisions
This important teaching guide is a skill-building program that helps students understand the importance of informed decision-making. The teaching guide includes turnkey lessons and worksheets that support the idea that when young people know the facts, they have the tools to make smart choices. Find lessons and critical-thinking activities that bring students the facts about the science behind teen brain development and decision-making, as well as the health risks associated with drug abuse.

The Teen Brain: Under Construction
The teen brain is still developing, so it is particularly vulnerable to the effects of drugs. Drugs interfere with the teen brain’s natural development, affecting not only the brain, but the entire body. Check out the poster and article to learn more about how drugs affect the brain and body. The accompanying teacher guide includes lessons, discussion questions, and student activities about drug addiction and how drug abuse affects decision-making.

You Can't Sniff Away Your Sorrows: Drug Abuse May Cause Addiction, Memory Loss, Heart Failure, Organ Damage, or Death
Check out the Heads Up Poster Contest Grand Prize-winning artwork and poster concept by student Ania Lisa Etienne. Then use the lesson strategy, discussion questions, and student worksheet activities to help students learn more about how drugs can affect their brain and health.

Drugs and the Body—It Isn't Pretty
(Includes English- and Spanish-language versions of the poster)
Nicotine. Heroin. Cocaine. Marijuana. Inhalants. Methamphetamine. Steroids. They all cause damage. Check out the poster and explore printable activities to find out how drugs of abuse affect the brain and body. The poster teaching guide includes student worksheet activities, an answer key, and Web resources.

Heads Up Skills Pages

Heads Up Skills Pages: 14 Drug Education Activities
Get the facts about how drugs affect the brain and body using this complete set of printable skills pages, which include activities that teach body and brain science, reading comprehension, graphs, charts, sequencing, and critical thinking.