Curriculum Ideas for Teaching Drug Prevention

Author: Rich Atkinson


One hour of class each year may save the life of a student

Recently an American teenager died after consuming too much of an ordinarily safe medication after he watched a social media challenge and sought to get high.

By taking at least one hour of class each year to teach about drug prevention, you may help save the life of one of your students.

Alcohol & Substance Abuse Kills Students

One curriculum you could use for that hour is the free Mind Matters Series developed by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The lesson plans in English and Spanish include the following:

  • A Teacher’s Guide
  • Student Worksheets
  • Q&A videos with NIDA scientists
  • Kahoot! quizzes

By pairing the NIDA resources with online photos contrasting a normal brain with the brain of a drug user, students will get the message about the physical changes in the brain when a person uses drugs. The brain scans will reveal gaps and holes in the brain’s “processing center.”

The International School Project (ISP) has lessons on drug and alcohol prevention. How alcohol affects the body is one lesson that can be done as a supplement to the NIDA curriculum. Students can take the blank PDF of the outline of a person and fill in how alcohol affects the various organs and body parts.

More free curriculum from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in partnership with Discovery Education at Operation Prevention offers the following resources in both English and Spanish for elementary, middle school, and high school students:

  • Powerpoint presentations
  • Program outlines
  • Stories from teens
  • E-learning for middle school and high school students
  • Virtual Field Trips: understanding the science behind opioid addiction and how one community is fighting back.

Teachers, the statistics about drug abuse are staggering. Most families have been affected by drug abuse. These resources have been created for you to use in your classroom so you can partner with your students, school, and community to make a difference.

If you found these drug prevention resources beneficial, perhaps you would like to read another blog post about protecting students from suicide: A Cry For Help: Are You Listening?

About the Author

Rich Atkinson

Rich Atkinson began his writing career with a community paper in Ohio.

He has worked for a magazine. Travel assignments have taken him outside the country to Haiti and Guatemala. In the U.S., he has journeyed to Atlanta, Boston, Milwaukee, and many other places for feature stories.

When not writing, Rich finds time to read and enjoys listening to authors discuss writing on podcasts and in YouTube videos.

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