Drug Use, Addiction, and the Adolescent Brain

Developed using the BSCS 5E Instructional Model, this curriculum is designed to teach middle school students about the science of how drugs impact the brain.  It contains several lessons that teachers can use to help students learn how drugs can change how the brain functions, causing changes in thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.  Also included is information about how the adolescent brain responds differently to drugs and why drugs are particularly harmful for the young brain. Teachers must order the curriculum and pay shipping.


What's in the Lesson Plan:

  • 5 interactive lessons
  • Teacher instructional guide
  • Identified assessment opportunities
  • DVD with interview, animations, and real-life stories
  • A facilitation guide for presenting the video to adult audiences
  • Videos of medical professionals and treatment facility experts about how they got into the field

Grade Level(s):


Student Skills Targeted:

  • Knowledge of the brain and how drugs impact its functioning
  • Understanding of the developmental changes that occur in the brain during adolescence
  • Knowledge of the process of scientific inquiry and understanding the nature and methods of science
  • Appreciation of the role of science in society and the relationship between basic science and human health

Time / Duration:

  • 5-8 class periods


  • DVD player and projection system
  • Printer/copier for printable module worksheet and answer guide
  • Overhead projector and transparency pens
  • Art supplies: chart paper, typing paper, construction paper, markers, glue, scissors

Alignment with National Standards:

  • National Science Education Standards


  • English

Complete Lesson