Drugs & Health Blog Teacher's Guide

Why Use the Drugs & Health Blog?

NIDA supports most of the world’s research on how drug use affects the brain and body, including how it may lead to addiction. Our Drugs & Health Blog posts apply this science to real life. Each post can help you inform your middle- and high-school health and science students about what science has to say on drug-related topics they’re hearing about from their peers, parents, and the media. 

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How To Use the Blog in Your Classroom or Online 

For informal learning activities, students can read blog posts on their own, either by exploring the different posts online or reading posts that you pre-select. 

For more formal instruction, you might choose one of the blog posts and, using the activities and discussion questions below, encourage your students to think critically about how drug use can affect them today and tomorrow. You can print out the blog posts or have students access them online.

Activities

  • Discussions. In small groups or as a class, have students read a blog post and discuss the information in it, using the discussion questions below to guide the conversation. 
  • Writing Prompts. Ask students to read a post and either comment on it on NIDA’s Facebook page, or respond to one or more of the discussion questions in writing. Or, ask students to write a blog post of their own on an aspect of drug use or addiction, using Drugs & Health Blog posts and NIDA’s Drug Facts
  • Research/Presentation Project. Ask students to select a drug topic and research how the drug affects the brain and body. They could give a brief presentation, including a visual, summarizing their research and whether their view of the drug has changed based on what they learned. 
  • Debate. Divide the students into two groups. Have them debate two sides of an issue, such as the pros and cons of legalizing a particular drug or whether the media plays a part in teen drug use. 
  • Multimedia Project. Ask students to read several blog posts and develop a storyboard (visual outline) and script for a public service announcement (PSA), video, or podcast that presents the information they learned. If time allows, teens could break into groups and record the PSAs, videos, or podcasts they developed. 

Discussion Questions

  • What did you learn from this blog post that you didn’t know before? 
  • Does the blog post change your views? If so, how? 
  • If there was one thing you would want others to know based on what you’ve learned from this post, what would it be? 
  • What are some of the risks involved in doing drugs? Do you think much about these risks? Why or why not? 
  • How does media play a role in drug use and addiction? Consider all types of media, including social media, TV/streaming shows and movies, music, books, and advertisements.