Opioids and Prescription Drugs

Lesson Plans

Operation Prevention: Our Brain and Body on Opioids

  • Grade level: 6-8
  • Includes educator’s guide and digital lesson PowerPoint
  • 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 and digital lesson PowerPoint
  • 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’s guide and digital lesson PowerPoint
  • 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

Prescription Pain Medications (Opioids)

Prescription Depressant Medications

Prescription Stimulant Medications (Amphetamines) (includes Ritalin® and Adderall®)

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 to End Addiction: Out of Reach

  • Includes online documentary (free to screen on YouTube or download for offline viewing) and discussion guide
  • Teaches about the dangers of misusing prescription painkillers and teen addiction.
  • Duration: 1 class period (video length: 26:52)
  • Source(s): Partnership to End Addiction