- The student will be able to describe the differences between a street drug and a medication given by a doctor/parent.
- The student will learn four types of street drugs and the effects of the drugs on the body.
- The student will demonstrate two means of walking away from a person trying to give them street drugs.
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Introduction (approximately 10-15 minutes):
Jessica is walking to her locker when another student, Angel, stops her.
“You look tired today Jessica. Do you want something to make you wake up and feel peppy?”
Angel holds out her hand and there are two white tablets in her hand. Jessica is not sure what the tablets are and does not know what to say to Angel.
What would you do if you were Jessica?
Say to the students: “Turn to your partner and discuss what you would do. You have three minutes.”
- Share out answers. Answers can be recorded on large sheets of paper or on the board.
- Ask the students: “How many of you have ever needed to take medicine when you were sick? Please raise your hand.” Count that number.
- “Who gave you that medicine?” Call on some students to share their answers.
- Write the definition of medicine on the board. Students record in their notebooks.
- Possible choices: A drug or other substance used for the treatment or prevention of disease. A remedy. An agent used to treat an illness or injury.
- Have each student find a partner by turning to the student next to them. Have them discuss the following question. Have the students record their answers in their notebook or journal. Allow 3 minutes.
Question: “What is a street drug?”
- Discuss student answers.
- Have the students record the definition in their notebooks.
- Possible choice: A drug that is taken for non-medicinal reasons.
- Tell the students: Sometimes there are people that will try to give you a drug that your parents will not know about, or a drug that a doctor has not said that you should take. This might come from a friend, a stranger, or even a family member. These drugs, called street drugs, are very dangerous. They can make you act differently and your body can be hurt by them.
- Tell the students reasons why people take street drugs.
- People think street drugs make them feel better. It brings them pleasure, usually for a short time. They think they “feel good” when they take street drugs.
- Sometimes people want to escape “stress” in their lives. They take the drugs to escape reality and to feel relaxed. They may think the street drug will help them escape problems at home or with family members.
- Others believe the drugs help them be better at something, like performance-enhancing drugs for sports. Some people think they are smarter when they use a drug. A person may have low self-esteem and think that if they fit in with the “right crowd” at school that they will be happy and successful at home or with family members.
- However, often street drugs are used by people who are depressed, “down in the dumps” and have a hard time coping with reality.
- The perceived benefit of the street drugs is short lived but the side-effects are often not and can have negative effects on the body and mind.
Main Lesson: (20-30 minutes)
Part 1: Names of Street Drugs (5 minutes)
- Ask the students to name some street drugs. Record on the board.
- Take the list of the street drugs that the students know and circle the ones you will be discussing today. Add names of drugs if the students did not know them.
- Discuss student answers.
- Discuss these street drugs with the students. Use pictures that have been printed or a whiteboard to show the students what the drug looks like. Answer questions as you go.
- Marijuana is a dried plant leaf. It might look brown or greenish-brown. It could have stems or seeds mixed in with the leaf. It is usually rolled into a type of cigarette. Show the students a picture of a marijuana joint.
- It looks like a white powder. Sometimes it might be in a small plastic bag. Show the students a picture of cocaine powder.
- It looks like a tablet or candy and may come in many colors and shapes. The tablet might have a picture or symbol on it. Show the students a picture of ecstasy.
- Inhalants may be products that are in your home or school. A person would smell or inhale them to get “high”. Examples are hairspray, glue, and paint. Show the students a picture with some inhalants on it.
Preview one of the worksheet
Part 2: What do street drugs do to your body? (10 minutes)
- Explain to the students: Street drugs change the way your body works. Street drugs can make you feel “high” or “buzzed”. Some street drugs might make your body react slowly. Because you do not know what chemicals are in a street drug, the drugs can be very dangerous to your body. They can cause you to want more and more of the drug (addiction) and can cause death.
- Effects of marijuana
- Your heart beats faster. You may be confused. You may say things that you do not mean. You will feel sleepy. You will have trouble learning and remembering things. Smoking marijuana will increase your chance for lung cancer.
- Effects of cocaine
- You feel very nervous. Your heart rate goes up and it is hard to breathe. You become hot. You have pain in your chest because your heart is working so hard. Your heart may even stop beating and you could die.
- Effects of ecstasy
- You see things that are not there. You become dizzy, hot and start to sweat. Your vision is blurry. If your body becomes too hot, you could die because your kidneys, liver and heart stop working properly.
- Effects of inhalants
- You feel dizzy and have headaches. Your speech will change so that words do not make sense. You see things that are not there. You lose your coordination. The heart’s beating can be interrupted causing death.
Part 3 How to Say No to Street Drugs (10 minutes)
Explain to the students: Making healthy and good decisions is not always easy. Many times you may feel that you should do something because your friends are doing it. This is called peer pressure. Sometimes you might want to try something because you are bored, curious or want to feel better. Knowing what street drugs can do to your body helps you understand the dangers involved in taking street drugs.
There are people at school, in the community or at home that can help you if someone offers you a street drug. Teachers, principals, police officers, and your parents are examples of people you can ask for help if someone is trying to make you take a drug. If you do not get help from someone you ask, do not get discouraged. Keep asking others until you find someone that will help. There are people out there that understand what you are going through and are willing to assist you.
Part 4 Activities for Class or Evaluation (time depends on what activity is chosen)
- Several activities are listed so that the teacher may choose from the list or assign different activities based on the level or needs of the students in class.
- 1. Have the students break up into groups of three or four. As a the team, they should write an ending to the Jessica story.
- Prompt: What would you do if you were Jessica? Who could you contact? What could Jessica say to Angel?
- The students could hand in the writing, or act out the scenario for class. Higher grade level students could perform the scenarios to lower grade students.
- 2. Have the students work in pairs or on their own to make a poster showing the effects of street drugs on the body. Each group could do a different street drug. Hang the posters around the room or in the halls.
- 3. Have the students write a poem on being drug free or how to say “no” to someone who offers them a street drug.
- 4. The students could visit the public or school library and research other street drugs such as heroin, crack, methamphetamine, steroids, or cheese. They could present their findings to the class as a report, or make a poster to show other various street drugs.