Opioids and Prescription Drugs

Lesson Plans

Drugs in the Cupboard: Brain Power!

  • Grade level: 6-8
  • Includes 1 step-by-step module, resources for students, parent guides, and online activities
  • Teaches about the effects of prescription drugs; how these drugs affect the brain and body when not used properly; and, understanding why it is important to use medication as instructed
  • Duration: 1 class period (with additional activities (e.g. public service announcement) for subsequent periods)
  • Standards aligned with: National Science Education Standards

Operation Prevention: Our Brain and Body on Opioids

  • Grade level: 6-8
  • Includes Educator’s Guide, PowerPoint Presentation, and digital lesson
  • Teaches the effects of opioids on the body and brain and symptoms of addiction
  • Duration: 3+ class periods
  • Standards aligned with: National Health Education Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and Common Core English Language Arts
  • Source(s): Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)/Discovery Education

Operation Prevention: Malachi’s Medication

  • *Designed for 3rd-5th graders but can be adapted for 6th graders
  • Includes Activity Guide PDF
  • Teaches students how to identify and explain the dosage instructions on a medicine label; and, how to conduct an experiment
  • Duration: 1-2 class periods
  • Standards aligned with: National Health Standards, Common Core English Language Arts, Common Core Mathematics
  • Source(s): Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)/Discovery Education

Operation Prevention: Sara’s Sister

  • *Designed for 3rd-5th graders but can be adapted for 6th graders
  • Includes Activity Guide PDF
  • Teaches the importance of storing medication properly through analyzing a scenario and making recommendations
  • Duration: 1-2 class periods
  • Standards aligned with: National Health Standards and Common Core English Language Arts
  • Source(s): Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)/Discovery Education

Operation of Prevention: Is our Community Influenced by the Opioid Epidemic

  • Grade level: 6-8
  • Includes Educator’s Guide, PowerPoint Presentation, activities, and videos
  • Teaches students about the opioid epidemic, effects of opioids on the teenage brain; how to identify and find credible sources; and, design a research plan
  • Duration: 3-4+ class periods
  • Standards aligned with: Common Core English Language Arts
  • Source(s): Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)/Discovery Education

Operation Prevention: Proactive Prevention

  • *Designed for 3rd-5th graders but can be adapted for 6th graders
  • Includes Educator Guide and PowerPoint Presentation
  • Teaches students about what medication is and the importance of responsibly consuming over-the-counter and prescription medications
  • Duration: 3+ class periods
  • Standards aligned with: National Health Standards (Grades 3-5) and Next Generation Science Standards
  • Source(s): Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)/Discovery Education

Opioids and the Overdose Epidemic

  • Grade level: 6-8 (also contains adapted lessons for 4-6th grade reading level)
  • Includes lesson plan with student article, student worksheet, vocabulary list, critical thinking questions, and writing prompts
  • Teaches about epidemics and evidence to indicate an epidemic; that opioid medications should be used with extreme care; and, ways to stay safe if prescribed opioid pain medications
  • Duration: 1 class period
  • Standards aligned with: Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and National Science Education Standards
  • Source(s): National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)/Scholastic

Over-the-Counter Medicine Safety

  • Grade level: 6
  • Includes four lesson plans with worksheets, posters/whiteboard images, videos, and family resources
  • Teaches about medicine; understanding drug labels; medicine measuring tools, storage, and disposal; and, medicines and misuse
  • Duration: 5 class periods
  • Standards aligned with: Common Core State Standards (ELA, Science, and Health) and Next Generation Science Standards
  • Source(s): Scholastic

Prescription Pain Medications

  • Grade level: 6-8
  • Includes lesson plan with student article, quiz and answer key, discussion questions, and optional essay/writing assignments
  • Teaches about what opioids are and how they work; why opioid misuse is dangerous; and, critical thinking
  • Duration: 1 class period
  • Standards aligned with: National Science Education standards and McREL
  • Source(s): National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)/Scholastic

Additional Resources

Mind Matters: Opiates Student Booklet

  • Includes opiate student booklet
  • Focuses on what opiates are and their addictive properties
  • Sources(s): National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

NIDA: Drug Facts

  • Includes links below to related opioid and prescription drugs
  • Focuses on what opioid and prescription drugs are, their addictive properties, and their effects on the brain and body
  • Sources(s): National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Prescription Drugs

Anabolic Steroids

Cough and Cold Medicine (DXM and Codeine Syrup) Anabolic Steroids

Prescription Pain Medications (Opioids.)

Depressants (Valium or Xanax)

Stimulants (Adderall or Ritalin)

NIDA: Prescription Drug Misuse: Choose Your Path

  • Includes two interactive videos, role-playing activities, fact sheets, and discussion questions, and additional activities
  • Teaches students about prescription drug misuse and reinforces refusal skills
  • Duration: 1+ class period(s)
  • Source(s): National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

Operation Prevention

  • Includes virtual field trip, classroom resources, self-paced module, parent toolkit, and video challenge
  • Teaches students about true impact of opioids and aids teachers in facilitation conversations in the classroom
  • Source(s): Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)/Discovery Education

Partnership for Drug Free Kids: Out of Reach

  • Includes online documentary (Video password: Partnership)
  • Teaches about the dangers of misusing prescription painkillers and teen addiction.
  • Duration: 1 class period (video length: 26:52)
  • Source(s): Partnership for Drug Free Kids