Lesson Plan and Activity Finder

Teacher’s Guide: Prescription Drug Misuse: Choose Your Path Interactive Videos

Introduction

The Choose Your Path classroom activity includes two interactive videos that asks students  to assume the role of the main character, who is confronted with a decision about whether to misuse prescription drugs. After each scene, the student selects what the main character will do next to see the consequences of that decision.

The purpose of this exercise is to reinforce student’s drug use refusal skills as well as strengthen their student knowledge of prescription drug misuse facts to help better prepare them in the event they are faced with having to making these types of decisions.  

This 3-part lesson includes:

  • Part 1: Students watch the video and make decisions based on real-life scenarios.
  • Part 2: Classroom discussion questions.
  • Part 3 (Optional): Students make their own videos.  

Part 1: Students watch the Choose Your Path videos

Have your students watch the videos.  They begin with a clip that sets up the scenario. At the end of each scene, students choose between two different paths. After making the selection, the chosen scenario plays out. The video can be restarted to explore the outcomes of different decisions and what might happen if someone takes a medication not prescribed for them.

Video 1: Choose Your Path: BFF or the Ex?

Download or have your students read online the Drug Facts pages about each of the prescription drugs featured.

  • Xanax. Xanax is a central nervous system (CNS) depressant prescribed to people for anxiety and sleeping problems.
  • Vicodin. Vicodin is an opioid prescribed to people to treat pain. Opioids are often prescribed by doctors after surgery or to help patients with severe acute or chronic pain.

Video 2: Choose Your Path: The Big Test

Download or have your students read online the Drug Facts pages about each of the prescription drugs featured.

  • Adderall and Other Stimulants. Stimulants increase activity in the body, such as increasing a person’s heart rate and the release of dopamine in the brain.

Part 2: Group Discussion

These questions can facilitate large or small group discussions after watching the Choose Your Path videos:

  1. What would you do if faced with the same situations as the characters?
  2. What are safe ways for the main characters to react to the stressful situations they face?
  3. What are the dangers of taking a friend’s or family member’s prescription drugs?

Part 3: Students Create Their Own Interactive Video (Optional)

Students follow the step-by-step instructions to create their own Choose Your Path storylines. In doing so, the students think about the effects of prescription drugs and the scenarios in which students might abuse them. The students learn about the dangers of abusing prescription drugs and are encouraged to think about how they might react when faced with the opportunity to abuse drugs.

Print out for the students:

Supplemental Materials

Activity Instructions

Get creative!

Ready to create your very own Choose Your Path adventure?

Time to flex your creativity and writing skills. Use the facts on the NIDA for Teens Drug Facts to make your storyline realistic, and based on the facts of prescription drug misuse.

1. Develop Your Character

  1. Who are they?
    1. What is their Gender? Race? Ethnicity? Age? Style?
    2. Are they an artist or an athlete or a star student (or all?)
    3. Are they a loaner or do they have a lot of friends?
    4. Do they get in trouble a lot or are they the teacher’s pet?
    5. Do they have dreams? Goals?
    6. Do they have a lot of stress in their lives or are they carefree?
  2. What is the prescription drug they will be faced with making a decision about?
    1. Opioids—pain medicines like Vicodin, OxyContin, or codeine
    2. Depressants—like those used to relieve anxiety or help a person sleep, such as Valium or Xanax
    3. Stimulants—like those used for treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), such as Adderall and Ritalin

2. Outline Your Story.

Use the blank decision tree to help you outline your story. Filling in the boxes with your own ideas helps you develop your own story about misusing prescription drugs, just like the official Choose Your Path videos.

Don’t forget that these video adventures are shot from the main character’s point of view, meaning that you see things as they happen through the eyes of the main character. Basically, any person watching or reading this storyline is the main character.

Here are a couple of things to remember as you create your adventure:

  • Start off with one decision, such as should you go on a date with Mario? Or not? Should you miss the bus and take a ride from a friend? Should you say ‘hi’ to that cute boy or girl at the mall?
  • Make sure your reader is faced with two decisions in every scene. One decision should have a negative consequence of abusing prescription drugs. The other should be based on a healthier decision.
  • Include outcomes based on the decisions that you made at the end of the story. The decisions are yours!

3. Lights, camera, action! (Optional)

Bring your adventure to life! Grab a camera, some friends to be your actors, and find or make the props you need to videotape one or more of the scenes in your story.