The Neuroscience of Addiction or NOA curriculum was AES’s first program. This brainchild of Dr. Alex Stalcup is a six-session, comprehensive, science- & evidence-based program that communicates the brain’s involvement in the development of the disease of addiction. It also addresses brain development, risk factors, and introduces the Pleasure Scale, a scientific model of addiction. It is a complete solution to any alcohol, tobacco, or other drug (ATOD) prevention need. This 6-session curriculum provides the student with the knowledge, understanding, and skills necessary to make intelligent & healthy decisions about substance use. There are add-on modules available for education on topics such as:
- Fentanyl: Why now?
- Refusal Skills & Role Playing
- Guide to Rehab
- Home Experiments
- Students can describe how drugs affect the brain’s pleasure system.
- Students will use the Pleasure Scale over four days to measure their craving score via their cell phone using The Craving Experiment app.
- Students can describe what an addictive drug is.
- Students can describe how the brain neuro-adapts to protect itself from too much stimulation.
- Students can identify one factor that shows a brain has developed tolerance, the first step of addiction.
- Students can use the Pleasure Scale to explain how withdrawal creates the “opposite of high”.
- Students can describe how craving weakens decision-making in the prefrontal cortex, leading to a loss of control over choices.
- Students will use a case study to analyze the extent of someone’s addiction.
- Students can explain four causes of relapse when someone is trying to quit.
- Students will use a case study to analyze the causes of relapse.
- Students can identify factors that make people more likely to become addicted.
- Students can describe how drug use affects brain development in adolescence.
- Students can identify factors that help people avoid addiction and increase resilience in a case study.
- Students will reflect on their experience of craving awareness in the Craving Experiment.
NOA Program At A Glance v.7 FINAL 4.4.23.pdf