Lesson Plans

As an educator, you play an important role in educating your students about how drugs affect their body, brain, and behavior. National Institute of Drugs Abuse has a range of age-appropriate curricula and activities designed to help you in this challenging role and support your efforts in the classroom. The lessons and activities promote an understanding of drug abuse and addiction and a curiosity about Neuroscience.

Courtesy National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institute of Health

Mind Over Matter (Grades 5-9)

Use these lessons to teach the effects of drug abuse on the body and brain

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Brain Power! (Grades 6-9)

Expand your drug education curriculum with these units about the brain and the effects of drugs on the body.

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Heads Up (GRADES 10-12)

Share these articles and activities about drug abuse from National Institute on Drug Abuse and Scholastic with your students.

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LifeSkills Training (Elementary-High School)

LifeSkills Training: Designed for: Elementary/Middle/Junior/High school students

Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST) is a research-validated substance abuse prevention program proven to reduce the risks of alcohol, tobacco, drug abuse, and violence by targeting the major social and psychological factors that promote the initiation of substance use and other risky behaviors. This program provides adolescents and young teens with the confidence and skills necessary to successfully handle challenging situations.

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Teen Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention

PEERx is an online educational initiative that provides science-based information about teen prescription drug abuse prevention.

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The New Leaf Curriculum (Grades 9-12+)

The Neuroscience of Addiction/CIM

by Alex Stalcup, MD and Janice Stalcup, RN, DrPH

Program contains a Facilitator’s Guide, DVD and Student Workbook. The curriculum tells the truth about drugs from start to finish, the good, the bad, and the ugly. Presented in an honest, matter-of-fact, non judgmental way, kids feel they are respected. The curriculum has been approved and is available to all public schools at the California Healthy Kids Library in Hayward. You may also contact Jordan Jandreau, Education Coordinator via email or phone at the The New Leaf Treatment Center.

New Leaf Curriculum

Drugs and the Developing Brain(9-12+)

The Science behind young people’s substance use.

Developed by Ken C. Winters, Ph.D., and Jeff Lee, M.Ed., Mentor Foundation and Hazelden

Drugs and the Developing Brain is a visually stimulating program for youth in middle school and high school. The CD-ROM contains a facilitator’s guide, a PowerPoint presentation, and parent handouts that provide information about the brain and the neurobiology of addiction–all in an easy-to-understand format.

Read through chapter one of: Drugs and the Developing Brain. This file is in PDF format.