Lesson Plans

How Do Genes Affect Addiction?

Created by : 
Scholastic and the National Institute on Drug Abuse

In this lesson, developed in partnership with Scholastic, students learn about the role of genetics in a person’s risk for addiction. They also learn that genetics isn’t the only factor involved in addiction. Many other biological and environmental factors play a role. Students will get tips about choices they can make to reduce their risk.

What’s In the Lesson Plan: 

  • Student article
  • Student worksheets
  • Tiered vocabulary list
  • Critical thinking questions
  • Writing prompts
  • Interactive activity (optional)

Grade Level(s): 


Student Skills Targeted: 

  • Science literacy
  • Health/life skills
  • Understanding of the impact of genetics on addiction
  • Learning the risks of addiction and how to stay safe

Time / Duration: 

  • 1 class period


  • Printer/copier for article, worksheet, and vocabulary list
  • Optional—Internet access for interactive activity only

Alignment with National Standards: 

  • Common Core State Standards
  • Next Generation Science Standards
  • National Science Education Standards


  • English