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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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. Additional activities include a public service announcement, the student magazine, the CD-ROM, and handouts. This is one of six modules designed for students in grades 6-9 to learn about the brain and the effects of drugs on the body.

Grade: 6-9

Mind Over Matter Series: Prescription Drugs

Mind Over Matter Series: Prescription Drugs

July 2016

A visually appealing booklet for students that explains how prescription drugs changes the way the communication centers in the brain work and ultimately cause their effects. Part of a set of nine booklets—The Brain’s Response to: Cocaine, Hallucinogens, Inhalants, Marijuana, Methamphetamine, Nicotine, Opioids, Prescription Drugs, and Steroids.  

Grade: 6-9

Operation Prevention

April 2018

Students are introduced to the science behind opioids. The two middle school lessons explore the brain and body; the high school lessons explore the signs, symptoms, and science of opioid use. Both lessons address the impact of the opioid epidemic on community. The resource includes virtual field trips, parent resources, and a national peer-to-peer video challenge.

Grade: 6-12

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. Students also gain advice on how to keep themselves and loved ones safe. 

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

Prescription Pain Medications: What You Need to Know

Prescription Pain Medications: What You Need to Know

May 2016

This lesson, developed in partnership with Scholastic, explains how opioid pain medications work in the body and discusses the risks of addiction and overdose. A worksheet has students analyze data on opioid prescriptions and overdose deaths. Critical thinking questions help students think through how opioids work in the brain, how opioid abuse might lead to heroin use, and what constitutes prescription drug abuse.

Grade: 6-12

Prescription Stimulants

Prescription Stimulants

May 2016

In this lesson, developed in partnership with Scholastic, students learn why misusing prescription stimulants, such as those prescribed to treat ADHD, is dangerous. A student article explains how stimulants work and what it means to abuse them. Students can make posters with factual information about prescription stimulants and stimulant abuse.

Grade: 6-12

Straight Talk on Prescription Drugs

Straight Talk on Prescription Drugs

May 2016

In this lesson, developed in partnership with Scholastic, students learn why prescription drug abuse is dangerous, even though prescription drugs are beneficial when used properly. A student article includes an interview with Dr. Nora D. Volkow, director of NIDA, that highlights the risk of addiction to prescription drugs. Discussion questions and writing prompts encourage students to think critically about common myths about prescription drug abuse.

Grade: 6-12