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Lesson Plans

Operation Prevention

Created by : 
Drug Enforcement Administration and Discovery Education, with contributions from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

This resource introduces students to the science behind opioids. The elementary school lessons explore over-the-counter and prescription medications, how medications work in our bodies, and why is it important to use them responsibly. The two middle school lessons explore the brain and body on opioids and how a community may be influenced by the opioid epidemic. The high school lessons explore the signs, symptoms, and science of opioid use and how the opioid epidemic impacts the community through investigative reporting activities. The resource includes virtual field trips, parent resources, and a national peer-to-peer video challenge. Includes a lesson for grades 3-5 called Proactive Prevention. Visit Operation Prevention to learn more.

What’s In the Lesson Plan: 

  • Educator guides
  • Student activity sheets and handouts
  • Self-paced module
  • Videos
  • Educator training webinar
  • Virtual field trips

Grade Level(s): 


Student Skills Targeted: 

  • Understanding what opioids are and the biological effects of opioids
  • Understanding the impact of the opioid epidemic on families and community
  • Understanding factors involved in helping to mitigate or prevent a drug epidemic
  • Investigative reporting skills (high school lesson only)
  • Critical thinking

Time / Duration: 

  • 3 class periods per lesson


  • Computer with projector
  • Timer (middle school lesson only)
  • Note cards
  • Chart paper and markers
  • Blank paper and writing tools
  • Internet (self-paced module only)

Alignment with National Standards: 

  • National Health Education Standards (middle school lessons and high school lessons)
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY (middle school lesson #2; high school lesson #1)
  • Common Core Standards (middle school lesson #2)
  • Next Generation Science Standards (high school lesson #1)


  • English
  • Spanish