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Illegal Drugs Lesson Plan

Grades 7-8

Step 1: Review “Quick Tips for an Effective Presentation”

Step 2: Gather an overall perspective of the issue


A) Review the drug fact sheets found in the Drugs and Alcohol section of the Centre for Youth Crime
Prevention.
B) Review the Objectives of this lesson plan (found below).
C) Identify ways that you are personally linked to the subject matter. This presentation is general in
nature, and will be more effective if you tailor it to your personal experiences, the audience and your
community.

Step 3: Prepare your materials


A) Print the lesson plan.
B) Print required handouts and references. Make a few extra copies just to be sure.
D) Gather all materials mentioned below.
E) Ensure your location has any technology you require (computer, projector etc.)

Handouts:
Activity #1: Label that Drug: Fill-in-the-blanks Chart (7-8.1 Handout)
Activity #2: Scenario: Alyssa’s Saturday Night (7-8.2 Handout)
Activity #3: Say This, Not That! (7-8.3 Handout)
Activity #4: Who Can Help? (7-8.4 Handout)

Reference Documents:
Activity #1: Label that Drug: Fill-in-the-blanks Chart (7-8.1 Reference)
Activity #2: Scenario: Alyssa’s Saturday Night (7-8.2 Reference)
Activity #3: Say This, Not That! (7-8.3 Reference)
Activity #4: Who Can Help? (7-8.4 Reference)

Other Materials:
SMART board/chalk board to summarize responses on
Chart paper and markers for groups to use
Computer/projector to display slides (optional)

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Illegal Drugs – Lesson Plan

Objectives:
A. Learn about various illegal drugs (including short and long-term health impacts)
B. Discuss social and legal consequences of drug use
C. Identify strategies for dealing with peer pressure
D. List supports that are available for youth

Time: 60 minutes

Introduction (5 minutes):
Introduce yourself. Tell the students about your job, and why you are here to talk to them. Tell students
that in today’s class, they will talk about drugs, the impacts they can have, and ways they can deal with
peer pressure to try drugs. Additionally, different supports to help them deal with the issue will be
addressed.

Tell students that to begin; you are going to go over the basics of a couple types of illegal drugs they
may have heard of.

Activity #1 – Name That Drug


Goal: Students will learn about various illegal drugs (including short and long-term health impacts)
Type: A chart for students to fill out
Time: 15 minutes

Step 1:
Let students know that most drugs can be broken down into three categories:
Stimulants are drugs that make you more hyper and alert.
Depressants are drugs that cause the body and mind to slow down.
Hallucinogens are drugs that disrupt a person’s perception of reality and cause them to imagine
experiences and objects that seem real.

Distribute “Activity 1: Label that Drug: Fill-in-the-blanks Chart (7-8.1 Handout)” to students. Tell students
they have 5 minutes to read the chart, and fill in the names of the various drugs.

Step 2:
Review correct answers by asking students to share their responses to each number. As you are going
through, make sure to discuss each drug, and what information in the chart led them to their label.
Answers can be found in “Activity #1: Label that Drug: Fill-in-the-blanks Chart (7-8.1 Reference)”.

Activity #2 - Impacts of Drug Use


Goal: Students will examine possible social and legal consequences of drug use
Type: This activity consists of a Scenario and Graphic Organizer for students to fill out
Time: 15 minutes

Step 1:

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Put students into small groups. Tell students that each group will receive a copy of a handout with a
scenario on it. Their job is to review the scenario, discuss possible consequences of Alyssa’s decision,
and brainstorm things she could have done differently.

Step 2:
Provide groups with a copy of “Activity #2: Scenario: Alyssa’s Saturday Night (7-8.2 Handout)”. Read the
following scenario (also at the top of their handout) aloud to the class.

Alyssa and a group of her friends head to their classmate Logan's one Saturday night for a small party.
Alyssa and her friends each brought a couple coolers to drink that her older brother bought for them.
Logan introduces Alyssa to Jen and Grant, who both go to the other middle school across town. Alyssa
thinks they are hilarious, and spends most of her time that night with Jen and Grant. Near the end of the
night, Grant starts to roll and joint, and asks Alyssa if she wants to join in. Alyssa has never smoked weed
before, but has always been curious what it would be like. She says sure; she has a couple hours before
her brother is coming to pick her up. When it’s time to go, Alyssa’s friends bug her about not being
around all night and ask her where she was as they all pile into her brother's car. Alyssa giggles and
jumps in behind them.

Step 3:
Give students about 10 minutes to work with their groups to answer the questions. When the time is up,
have each group present their answers to each of the questions. The student responses should be
recorded on chart paper, a blackboard or SMART Board. Samples of possible responses are included in
“Activity #2: Scenario: Alyssa’s Saturday Night (7-8.2 Reference)”.

Step 4:
To conclude this activity, reinforce the messages from Activity #1, in addition to other social and legal
impacts drug use can have. Ask students to consider why Alyssa made the decisions she did.

Prompt students by asking questions like the following:


Do you think she felt pressured by Jen and Grant to try pot?
What do you think her friends would have said if she asked them for advice?

Remind students that sometimes peer pressure can make us get caught up in the moment, and we often
forget to stop and think about the long-term consequences. It’s important to remember that there are
lasting impacts when we choose to do drugs, whether we plan on driving or not. Remind students that,
as in the scenario with Alyssa, it can be hard to resist peer pressure. And, as our discussions revealed,
it’s just as easy for things to go wrong.

Facilitator should consider linking to recent stories in the news about youth who experienced negative
consequences as a result of drugs (e.g., charged, death, etc.).

Activity #3 – Say This, Not That!


Goal: Students will identify strategies for dealing with peer pressure
Type: A scenario and worksheet for students to fill in
Time: 15 minutes

Step 1:

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Put students into small groups and provide each student with a copy of “Say This, Not That! (7-8.3
Handout)”. In their groups, give students 5-10 minutes to come up with 3 to 4 examples of things
people may say to try and pressure someone into doing something, and write them in the “Don’t Say
That” column. Then, tell students to come up with a witty response to each saying under the “Don’t Say
That” column, and write them under the “Say This!” column. The handout has one example included at
the top.

Step 2:
When the small groups have recorded their responses, the groups can take turns sharing their “Don’t
Say That – Say This” statements. Tell students to fill in the rest of their chart with different options their
classmates have come up with. Some sample responses can be found in the “Say This, Not That! (7-8.3
Reference)”.

Step 3:
Conclude this activity by telling students that there are many ways we can deal with peer pressure, and
witty statements are just one way. You can also remove yourself from the situation, call a parent or
friend if you are stuck somewhere, or make up an excuse. Most importantly, remind students to think
about how they treat their friends; make sure they are not pressuring them to try anything. Real friends
don’t force you to do things you don’t want to.

Activity #4 – Where to go for help?


Goal: List supports that are available for youth
Type: A worksheet to help youth identify supports around them
Time: 5 minutes

Step 1:
Tell students that sometimes we may find ourselves in situations that we don’t know how to get out of.
We might be dealing with problems in our lives and looking for something to help us through them, or
simply trying to fit in. Despite the reason, it’s important that we think things through before we do
them. We may not want to talk to our friends about some things we’re dealing with, but that doesn’t
mean we’re alone; there is always someone who can help.

Step 2:
Provide students with a copy of “Who Can Help? (7-8.4 Handout)”. Tell students to list any sources of
support that they can think of. Prompt students by suggesting that they think about people in their life,
school, and community while they fill in the page. Give students 5 minutes to complete the worksheet.
When they are finished, students will submit their completed exit statement to their classroom teacher.
The teacher should review the exit statements and hand them back out to students during the next class
(or post them on the wall in the classroom as a future reference for students).

Conclusion (5 minutes):
To conclude the lesson, summarize the important points and highlights of your discussions throughout
the session. Leave the students with information about how to contact you if they have any follow up
questions they didn’t want to ask in class.

Pass out the “Student Evaluation Form” to obtain feedback from students on how the presentation
went.

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Suggestions for Follow-Up Activities:
Students could…
a. Create a podcast to raise awareness about drug use and relevant impacts.
b. Research one source of “support” and present the information to the class.
c. Create an informational pamphlet for younger students to inform them about drug use and
identify who they can go to for help.
d. Create their own peer pressure scenarios and then list ways to prevent and resolve the
situation.

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Activity #1: Label That Drug (Reference)
Fill-In-The-Blanks Chart

Illegal Drugs
Name How it Works Effects How to tell if someone
has been using?
1 Cocaine / Crack Cocaine It affects the brain Euphoria, insomnia, dry Dilated pupils
Street Names: Blow, C, and makes you very mouth and lips, masks Chapped nostrils
Charlie, Coke, Crack, Flake, energetic and alert. fatigue, loss of appetite, Nose bleeding
Freebase, Nose Candy, lowers inhibitions, Track marks
Rock, Snow, Stardust hallucinations, rapid Sniffling
Forms: Powder, crystals or heart and breathing rate Slurred speech
rocks
Type: Stimulant
2 Magic Mushrooms They are absorbed by Nausea and vomiting, Dilated pupils
Street Names: Mush, the bloodstream and numbness, exaggerated Convulsions
Schrooms, Mushies, then travel to the reflexes, Muscle weakness
Fungus, Fungus Delight brain where they paranoia/confusion, loss or twitching
(tea) alter one’s of urinary control,
Forms: Mushroom, brown perception. increased blood pressure
powder and heart rate.
Type: Hallucinogen
3 Heroin It travels through the Nausea and vomiting, Decreased
Street Names: Smack, bloodstream to the lack of emotion, response to pain
Dope, H, Horse, Black Tar, brain. There it’s headaches, reduced Small (pinpoint)
Dust, Point converted back into appetite, constipation, pupils
Forms: Fine, white morphine, interacts itching of the skin. Slowed speech and
crystalline powder, grainy with your brain and movements
brown substance, dark can change the way a Track marks
brown sticky gum person experiences
Type: Depressant pain.
4 Marijuana (Cannabis) THC is absorbed into Dry mouth, increased Strong odor
Street Names: Pot, Mary, the bloodstream and appetite, calm, relaxed Red eyes
Mary Jane, MJ, Joint, travels to the brain. feeling, panic, anxiety, Slow mental
Weed In the brain, it binds impaired short term reactions
Forms: Dried leaves, buds to cannabinoid memory and Spontaneous
seeds or stems, resin, receptors, which coordination, laughter
sticky liquid produces the effects hallucinations, increased
Type: Hallucinogen felt by the user. heart rate.
Illegal Synthetic Drugs
5 Acid (LSD) It enters all tissues of Effects can range from a Excitable
Street Names: Acid, Acid the body including sense of joy/well-being to Wild-eyed
Cap, Blotter, Micro, the brain. The effects fear, panic, aggression Dilated pupils
Microdots, Bull’s Eye of it are felt gradually and severe anxiety. One Hallucinations
Forms: Tablets, blotting within 30-60 can also experience
paper minutes, peak within “pseudo-hallucinations”
Type: Hallucinogen 2 to 4 hours and (user is aware the
gradually diminish hallucination is not real).
within 10-12 hours.
6 Ketamine It travels through the Drunken/dizzy feeling, Insensitive to pain
Street Names: Special K, bloodstream to the confusion, memory loss, Difficulty reasoning

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Vitamin K, Ket, Ketty brain. There, it loss of coordination, Coordination
Forms: Liquid, powder, affects the inability to speak, problems
tablets neurotransmitter decreased response to Slurred speech
Type: Hallucinogen (brain chemical) pain, confusion, nausea
glutamate, which and vomiting. Some
impairs memory, people experience “near
learning, the death” or “out-of-body”
perception of pain sensations, and this is
and responses to the referred to as “going
environment. through the k-hole”.

7 Ecstasy (MDMA) It is absorbed into Euphoria, increased Excitable


Street Names: E, XTC, X, the bloodstream and alertness, teeth grinding Wild-eyed
Pill, Peanut, Ecstasy, Dove, travels to the brain, and jaw pain, anxiety, Dilated pupils
Love Drug, M&M where it causes the nausea and vomiting, Hallucinations
Forms: Tablets with release several dehydration, heightening
various logos and colours neurotransmitters of emotions and sensory
Type: Stimulant and/or (serotonin, dopamine perceptions, loss of
hallucinogen and norepinephrine) inhibitions and
which produce the hallucinations.
effects felt by the
user.
8 Meth (Methamphetamine) It travels to the brain Euphoria, increased Dilated pupils
Street Names: Crystal through the alertness of mind, Blurred vision
Meth, Ice, Crank, Speed, bloodstream. Once in excessively talkative, Restlessness
Chalk, Pep Pill the brain, it causes decreased appetite, dry Tremors
Forms: Powder, crystals, the release of a mouth, teeth grinding, “Tweaking”
tablets chemical that is muscle shaking, paranoia, (combination of
Type: Stimulant responsible for anxiety, hallucinations anxiety, irritability,
“pleasure”, which and difficulty sleeping, aggression,
explains the “high” increased breathing and paranoia and
created by the drug. heart rate hallucinations)

9 “Spice” It is absorbed into Nausea and vomiting, Shortness of


Street Names: Synthetic the bloodstream and dizziness, extreme breath
Marijuana, Hayze Spice, travels to the brain. anxiety, agitation and High blood
Herb Dream, Herbal In the brain, it binds panic attacks, euphoria, pressure
Potpourri, Krypto Buds, to cannabinoid unrealistic fears, altered Chest pain
Cloud 9 receptors, which sense of time and space, Dry mouth
Forms: Mix of herbs produces the effects confusion, insomnia,
sprayed with man-made felt by the user. short-term memory loss,
compounds that mimic the convulsions, seizures,
effects of marijuana suicide, increased heart
Type: Hallucinogen rate.

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Activity #2: Alyssa’s Saturday Night (Reference)
Scenario

Alyssa and a group of her friends head to their classmate Logan's one Saturday night for a small party.
Alyssa and her friends each brought a couple coolers to drink, that her older brother bought for them.
Logan introduces Alyssa to Jen and Grant, who both go to the other middle school across town. Alyssa
thinks they are hilarious, and spends most of her time that night with Jen and Grant. Near the end of the
night, Grant starts to roll and joint, and asks Alyssa if she wants to join in. Alyssa has never smoked weed
before, but has always been curious what it would be like. She says sure; she has a couple hours before
her brother is coming to pick her up. When it’s time to go, Alyssa’s friends bug her about not being
around all night and ask her where she was as they all pile into her brother's car. Alyssa giggles and
jumps in behind them.

What are some possible consequences of Alyssa's decision?

• If she lies to her friends, they may get mad at her/ not trust her anymore
• Her friends are angry with her when she tells them what she did.
• Her brother smells the weed and refuses to let her in the car.
• When she gets home, her parents smell the pot and she gets in trouble.
• She has a bad reaction to mixing alcohol and pot. Or, the pot could have been laced with
something.

What could Alyssa have done differently?

• Alyssa could have chosen to not drink or smoke the pot.


• Alyssa could have left the room and told Logan what his friends were doing.
• Alyssa could have declined the pot with a witty response or an excuse.
• Alyssa could have asked her friends for advice before making the decision to smoke the pot.
• Alyssa could have called her brother and asked him to come pick her up early.

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Activity 3: Say This, Not That! (Reference)

Come up with 3 to 4 examples of things people may say to try and pressure someone into doing
something, and write them in the “Don’t Say That” column. Then, come up with a witty response to
each saying under the “Don’t Say That” column, and write them under the “Say This!” column.

DON’T SAY THAT SAY THIS!


Ex: What are you, chicken? Ex: Do I look like I’m covered in feathers and have
wings?
Everybody’s doing it! Really? Well I don’t need to be ‘just like everyone else’.

It’s the cool thing to do. I’ve tried it and I’m allergic / had a bad reaction.

You’re a loser if you don’t. Whatever; if you want to be the next Amanda Bynes,
then go for it.

Just try it, it’s not a big deal. Well, if it’s not a big deal, then why do I have to try it?

Just trying it once won’t hurt you. Seriously? Did you not hear about that (girl/guy) who
(had a bad reaction/ended up in the hospital/died)?

Come on, it’s not like you have to do it every day! Exactly. And today is a day I don’t feel like trying it!

No one will ever find out. No thanks – my parents are picking me up in an hour and
if they smell anything, it’ll definitely be a big deal!

You have to try it - you’ll feel awesome. I have to go to (my grandparents/ a big sports
game/other activity) – definitely don’t want to be tired
for that!
Do it for me, just this once! I’ll do it with you! If you were really a good friend, you wouldn’t care
whether I try it or not.

Why won’t you try it? Because I’d like to make sure I get home in one piece.

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Activity #4: Who Can Help? (Reference)

When you need help, who can you go to?

- Parents
- Brothers and sisters
- Other family members
- Guardians
- Neighbours
- Teachers
- Teachers’ aides
- Friends
- Police officers
- Trainers
- Elders
- Kids Help Phone or other toll-free support lines

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