Lesson Plans

Mind Matters Series (formerly Mind Over Matters)

Created by : 
National Institute on Drug Abuse

A set of visually appealing booklets—The Brain’s Response to: drugs, marijuana, nicotine, opioids, cocaine, inhalants, methamphetamine, prescription stimulant drugs, and synthetic drugs like K2/spice and bath salts—that explain how the drugs change the way the communication centers in the brain work and ultimately cause their effects.

Please Note: After 20 years, NIDA is transitioning away from our beloved Sara Bellum character in the Mind Over Matters series to a format that is more relatable to today’s youth audience. The series will now be called Mind Matters, and will focus on easy-to-understand scientific facts. We want to thank the audience who made Sara Bellum a hit; please be assured that her spirit of inquisitiveness is what laid the foundation for our more modern format. 

What’s In the Lesson Plan: 

  • 11 booklets each addressing one drug topic
  • Mind Over Matter Teacher’s guide (online and English only)

Grade Level(s): 


Student Skills Targeted: 

  • Understanding of biological drugs effects
  • Skills in reading comprehension

Time / Duration: 

  • 1-2 class periods


  • Computer with Internet access per 1-2 students OR
  • Order free copies of the booklets for students


  • English
  • Spanish