Drugs May Help or Harm
Concept: All drugs can be harmful if misused.
Purpose: To help students understand that some drugs when used properly may be helpful and some drugs will be harmful.
Objective: Students will tell ways in which drugs may be helpful or harmful and will discuss what influences may encourage people to misuse them.
1. Tell students that one way to keep safe is to know what drugs are, how drugs may help or harm, and what influences encourage people to use them or misuse them.
2. Define the word drug as "Any nonfood that can change the way your mind and body work." Emphasize the dangers of tasting or drinking any unknown nonfood substance.
3. Introduce the concept that some drugs are medicines. Some drugs may be helpful in preventing or treating illnesses when used properly. Ask students how these drugs can be helpful.
4. Introduce the concept that some drugs are not medicines. Some drugs like tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana have no medical purpose but are drugs because they can change the way the mind and body work. It is against the law for children to buy or use these substances.
5. Two of the most widely used substances are tobacco and alcohol. Ask students to list the harmful effects of smoking. Have students write them on the chalkboard. Some answers may include:
Then ask students to list some harmful effects of drinking alcohol. Answers may include:
6. Summarize the discussion by asking students, "If these drugs are so harmful, why do you think young people begin to use them? Who do you think encourages young people to use them?" Answers should include: advertisements, friends, and family members.
7. Divide the class into groups. Instruct students that they are going to work in their groups to develop an ad against tobacco and one against alcohol. Allow several minutes for students to complete their posters. Call on group members to share the messages of the ads with the class.
This lesson used with permission from DARE Officer Ed Barragan