Lesson Plan and Activity Finder

Find FREE science- and standards-based classroom lessons and multimedia activities on teens and drugs – all funded or created by NIDA.
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Exploring Drug Abuse Through the Science of Epidemiology

Exploring Drug Abuse through the Science of Epidemiology

October 2015

A series of lessons within five modules explore drug issues through epidemiology and how and why diseases are distributed in the population. The modules examine six essential questions that cover who uses drugs, why some people use drugs and others do not, the possible association between the hypothesized cause and drug use, and prevention strategies.  

Grade: 11-12

Help Teens Make Healthy Choices – NIDA Toolkit for Counselors and Educators

July 2018

This evidence-based toolkit provides a complete array of resources and information to help teachers and other educators empower teens with the information they need to make informed decisions about drugs and drug use. The kit includes resources centered on three goals: educate students by giving them facts about drugs and their effects; empower students through activities that target critical thinking and decision making; and give educators the tools they need to identify students at risk.

Grade: 6-12

Not Fit for Human Consumption

Not Fit for Human Consumption

April 2018

In this lesson, developed in partnership with Scholastic, students learn about synthetic drugs—drugs created in labs to mimic other drugs, including opioids (example: fentanyl), marijuana (examples: Spice, K2); and cathinones (example: “bath salts”). They also learn why synthetic drugs may be more dangerous than their counterparts and why they are so difficult to regulate.

Grade: 6-12

Choose Your Path screencap

Prescription Drug Misuse: Choose Your Path Interactive Videos

July 2016

Students practice making decisions about prescription drug misuse by stepping into the shoes of a fictional character. They watch clips of the Choose Your Path interactive videos and throughout are prompted to make decisions for the main character about whether to use prescription drugs. Other activities encourage learning about the facts about prescription drug misuse and how it affects the body.

Grade: 8-10

Respect Others. Respect Yourself.

Respect Others. Respect Yourself.

May 2016

In this lesson, developed in partnership with Scholastic, students learn how to recognize and build healthy relationships and communication skills through discussion questions, group activities, and work sheets. Teachers can also discuss dating violence and drug use and resources for teens in unsafe or unhealthy relationships to get help.

Grade: 6-12

Stand Up Against Bullying

Stand Up Against Bullying

December 2017

The lesson, activities, and worksheets in this program, developed in partnership with Scholastic, will help students build skills they need to identify potentially harmful situations around them and to determine steps they can take to safely intervene if they see another student in trouble. They will also learn how to take action against bullying and create a safe environment for themselves.

Grade: 6-12

Starnet: Investigating Smoking Behavior

October 2015

Students develop their own research study by developing hypotheses about genetic and environmental factors that might be associated with smoking behavior and analyzing data from a smoking behavior database to answer their study questions. Along the way students learn basic skills about study design and about the environmental and genetic factors that may contribute to smoking behavior.

Grade: 9-12

Stressed Out?

Stressed Out?

February 2017

In this lesson, developed in partnership with Scholastic, students learn about how the body’s stress response system works and the health consequences of ongoing stress. They also learn about healthy ways to manage stress and why using drugs or alcohol to try to cope with stress is a bad idea. 

Grade: 6-12

The Science of Decision Making and Peer Pressure

The Science of Decision Making and Peer Pressure

May 2016

In this lesson, developed in partnership with Scholastic, students read an article on the science of how the developing teen brain reacts to rewards and peer pressure and explore the real-world implications for teen risk-taking. A worksheet helps students think about responding to peer pressure situations they might face.

Grade: 6-12