NDAFW Teaching Guide

NDAFW events, including National Drugs & Alcohol Chat Day, are great ways to engage students about drugs and drug abuse. If you want to prep students before NDAFW, check out the resources below.

Participating in Chat Day? To view the chat live or to participate if your class is registered, computers must have internet access. You can also use past Chat Day transcripts as part of a drug facts lesson. Transcripts are typically posted within 2 weeks after the live chat.

The following information can help you and your students prepare for NDAFW and National Drugs & Alcohol Chat Day.


Check out our Order Free Materials page for science-based educational publications.

Commonly Abused Drugs Charts

This double-sided chart provides information on the short- and long-term effects of commonly abused illegal drugs and treatment options for individuals who misuse them.

En Español:
Sustancias de abuso habitual

Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction

This 30-page full-color booklet explains in simple terms how science has revolutionized the understanding of drug addiction as a brain disease that affects behavior.

En Español:
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This booklet answers teens' most frequently asked questions about drugs and drug abuse. A must-have resource for every teen! View the animated version of NIDA's "Drugs: SHATTER THE MYTHS" booklet

En Español:
PDF, 12MB 
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Family Checkup: Positive Parenting Prevents Drug Abuse

Provides parents with research-based skills to help keep their children drug-free.

En Español:
Order for Free Online

Heads Up: Real News About Drugs and Your Body Annual Compilations

Heads Up: Real News About Drugs and Your Body is a collaboration between NIDA scientists and Scholastic, Inc. Annual compilations of articles and lesson plans going back to 2002 is available for download from Scholastic.

Marijuana: Facts for Teens

Presented in question-and-answer format, this pamphlet gives the facts about marijuana and its potential harmful effects, as well as potential therapeutic uses.

En Español:
En Español (PDF, 2MB)

Marijuana: Facts Parents Need to Know

Brochure, in question-and-answer format, that provides facts about marijuana for parents and offers tips for talking with their children about the drug and its potential harmful effects.

En Español:
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The NDAFW team is pleased to share a BINGO game that anyone can use. The point of this game is to educate players about certain topics and facts surrounding drug and alcohol use.

En Español:

Opioid Facts for Teens

Presented in question-and-answer format and targeted to teens, provides facts about opioids and their potential harmful effects. 

En Español:
Los opioides: Información para adolescentes

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Drug Facts

NIDA provides Drug Facts pages that are written specifically for teens. Reviewing them will help teens get basic information about drugs of abuse and may help them form more in-depth questions during NDAFW events or Drugs & Alcohol Chat Day. For the complete list, visit NIDA’s Teen Drug Facts page.

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Classroom Materials

Created for classroom use year round, these materials will help to engage and inform students as they embark on a journey to get the facts about drugs and drug abuse.

Lesson Plan and Activity Finder

Search for free lessons and activities on the science and consequences of drug use. All lessons are based on national science and education standards and were developed by scientists from leading universities and the National Institute on Drug Abuse.


Heads Up: Real News About Drugs and Your Body

Science-based facts and lesson plans include the Drugs + Your Body: It Isn’t Pretty web interactive from Scholastic and NIDA about the effects drugs have on the teen brain and body.


NIDA Teen Blog

From brain scans to virtual reality to celebrities, the NIDA blog for teens covers it all. Check out our Drugs & Health Blog.

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Sample Questions for Students

If students are unsure about what to ask during NDAFW events or Drugs & Alcohol Chat Day, here are a few sample questions to get them thinking:


  • Are drugs on the street today more dangerous than they were 20 years ago?
  • What is the difference between cocaine and crack?

Drug Effects on the Brain and Body

  • Why do people use medical marijuana?
  • What happens in the body when a person overdoses?

Helping Friends or Family

  • How do I know if a friend is in trouble with drugs?
  • How can I tell if someone is using drugs?

Drug Abuse Treatment

  • What is drug abuse treatment?
  • Why do celebrities go back to rehab again and again?

Drug Effects on Behaviors

  • Does marijuana make people more likely to drop out of school?
  • What drugs cause the most car accidents?

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