Lesson Plans

Lessons from the Life Science Learning Center - Biology of Drug Abuse and Addiction

Created by : 
Life Sciences Learning Center, University of Rochester

Six comprehensive lessons explore the biology of drug abuse and addiction. Students participate in hands-on activities that explore a neuron model, simulate the movement of drugs from a mother to her developing baby, analyze the effects of drugs on rat behavior, and investigate the long term effects of drug abuse on brain metabolism. They also use models to illustrate the role of neurotransmitters and receptors in cell communication.

What’s In the Lesson Plan: 

  • 6 complete lesson plans
  • Student guide
  • Teacher guide

Grade Level(s): 


Student Skills Targeted: 

  • Understanding how to do a scientific experiment
  • Knowledge of the brain and drug abuse
  • Experimental design and scientific collaboration
  • Ability to evaluate health information
  • Decision-making skills

Time / Duration: 

  • 1 class period per lesson


  • Computer to download
  • Printer/copier for handouts

Alignment with National Standards: 

  • National Science Education Standards


  • English