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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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A Dangerous Mix

A Dangerous Mix

June 2019

In this lesson, developed in partnership with Scholastic, students will get an understanding of the unexpected and potential dangerous effects associated with mixing medications and over the counter drugs. Includes an adapted version for grades 4-6 reading level. 

Grade: 6-12

Drug Facts Challenge game

Drug Facts Challenge!

August 2019

A Jeopardy-style game where students select from one of five categories—brain and addiction; marijuana; prescription drugs; tobacco, nicotine, and e-cigarettes; and inhalants—and a point amount. The science-based “answer” displays, allowing students the opportunity to determine the “question.” 

Grade: 6-12

Drugs and Health Blog: Prescription Drugs

Drugs and Health Blog: Prescription Drugs

August 2016

Timely blog posts feature emerging trends and apply the science of drug abuse to real life. The teacher’s guide features classroom activities and discussion questions for use with selected posts to encourage students to think critically about how drugs and drug abuse can affect them.

Grade: 6-10

Drugs in the Cupboard: Brain Power!

Drugs in the Cupboard: Brain Power!

July 2016

Students learn about the damage inhalants and prescription drugs can cause to the brain when not used as intended or by someone for whom they are not prescribed. Abuse of these drugs can be common because they are legal and easily accessible. Following the lesson, students will participate in a Challenge activity where they will use colored papers to organize facts about these drugs.

Grade: 6-9

Prescription stimulants

Mind Matters: The Body's Response to Prescription Stimulants

November 2019

A visually appealing booklet for students that explains how prescription drugs, like Adderall® and Ritalin®, changes the way the communication centers in the brain work and ultimately cause their effects. This booklet is part of a series focused on easy-to-understand scientific facts.

Grade: 5-9

Operation Prevention

April 2018

Students are introduced 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; the high school lessons explore the signs, symptoms, and science of opioid use. The resource includes virtual field trips, parent resources, and a video challenge.

Grade: 3-12

Opioids and the Overdose Epidemic pill bottle

Opioids and the Overdose Epidemic

March 2017

In this lesson, developed in partnership with Scholastic, students learn about the serious health crisis involving opioid drugs as well as what is causing it. They also learn that while prescription opioid pain medications can play an important role in a person’s medical care, the medications need to be used with extreme care. 

Grade: 6-12

Opioids: What You Need to Know

April 2020

In this lesson, developed in partnership with Scholastic, students will learn what opioids are, their potential dangers, and how to use opioids safely. 

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

Prescription Pain Medications

Prescription Pain Medications

May 2016

In this lesson, developed in partnership with Scholastic, students learn how prescription opioid pain medications work by mimicking the body’s natural pain-relieving chemicals. A student article explains what opioid abuse is and why it is so dangerous. Students can answer critical thinking questions, do a worksheet, and complete essay or creative writing assignments.

Grade: 6-12