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See below for links to the latest lessons and worksheet printables, as well as all previous lessons and printables in the Heads Up series.

Materials are listed in chronological order with the most recent first.

NEW! Recovery From Drug Addiction
Use this lesson and student worksheet printable to reinforce comprehension of the student article “Recovery From Drug Addiction.” Students use critical-thinking exercises and a chart analysis activity to gain a scientific understanding of drug addiction, relapse, and recovery—including risk and protective factors. (First published 2015)

Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable
Lesson Plan (HTML)
Student Worksheet (HTML)

Student Article (PDF) or Printer-Friendly (PDF)
Student Article (HTML)

 

Marijuana: Breaking Down the Buzz
Use this lesson and student worksheet printable to reinforce comprehension of the student article “Marijuana: Breaking Down the Buzz.” Critical-thinking exercises and a graph analysis activity give students the opportunity to sort out questions with facts as marijuana attitudes and laws continue to change across the country. (First published 2014)

Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable
Lesson Plan (HTML)
Student Worksheet (HTML)

Student Article (PDF) or Printer-Friendly (PDF)
Student Article (HTML)

 

Pushing Pause
Use this lesson and student worksheet printable to reinforce comprehension of the student article “Pushing Pause.” Students answer critical-thinking questions about possible consequences of real-life scenarios and how pausing could influence the outcomes. (First published 2014)

Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (PDF)
Lesson Plan (HTML)
Student Worksheet (HTML)

Student Article (PDF)
Student Article (HTML)

 

“Wiring” Your Brain
Use this lesson and student worksheet printable to reinforce comprehension of the student article “Wiring” Your Brain. Students decode scrambled sentences as an experiment in how the brain learns. Then, they answer critical-thinking questions that connect their findings to real-world situations. (First published 2013)

Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (PDF)
Lesson Plan (HTML)
Student Worksheet (HTML)

Student Article (PDF)
Student Article (HTML)

 

The Awesomely Evolved Human Brain
Use this lesson and student worksheet printable to reinforce comprehension of the student article “The Awesomely Evolved Human Brain.” Students solve brainteasers and answer critical-thinking questions about how drugs interfere with specific survival abilities in real-world situations. (First published 2013)

Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (PDF)
Lesson Plan (HTML)
Student Worksheet (HTML)

Student Article (PDF)
Student Article (HTML)

 

Drugs + Your Life
Use this lesson and student worksheet printable to reinforce comprehension of the student article “Drugs + Your Life.” Students analyze graphs and use basic statistical probability skills to respond to critical thinking questions about how stimulant use increases the likelihood of certain violent behaviors. (First published 2013)

Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (PDF)
Lesson Plan (HTML)
Student Worksheet (HTML)

Student Article (PDF)
Student Article (HTML)

 

Drugs + Your Body
Use this lesson and student worksheet printable to reinforce comprehension of the student article “Drugs + Your Body.” Students use scientific facts regarding how drugs impact key areas of the body to respond to questions about the health effects and consequences of drug abuse. (First published 2012)

Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (PDF)
Lesson Plan (HTML)
Student Worksheet (HTML)

Student Article (PDF)
Student Article (HTML)

 

Drugs + Your Brain
Use this lesson and student worksheet printable to reinforce comprehension of the student article “Drugs + Your Brain.” Students use scientific facts regarding key areas of the brain and what they control to respond to questions about the health effects of drug abuse. (First published 2012) 

Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (PDF)
Lesson Plan (HTML)
Student Worksheet (HTML)

Student Article (PDF)
Student Article (HTML)

 

Drugs + Your Body: It Isn’t Pretty (Poster/Teaching Guide)
The following lesson and printable worksheets provide factual details and critical-thinking questions on the wide-ranging effects drugs have on the developing brain and body—including harmful physical and psychological consequences that affect not only individuals, but also families, friends, and communities. (First published 2012)

Lesson Plan (HTML)
Printable Worksheet 1: The Brain-Body Connection (PDF)
Printable Worksheet 2: Drugs + Your Body: It Isn’t Pretty (PDF)
Printable Worksheet 3: Drugs + Your Life: It Isn’t Pretty (PDF)
Printable Worksheet 4: Drugs + Society: Emergency Room Visits (PDF)
Classroom Poster (PDF)

Lesson and printable worksheets combined:
Poster/Teaching Guide (PDF)
Poster/Teaching Guide (HTML)

Also available: Interactive, expanded web version for students

 

The Myth of “Medical Marijuana”
Use this lesson and student worksheet printable to reinforce comprehension of the student article “The Myth of ‘Medical Marijuana’.” Students use facts regarding marijuana and the FDA approval process to answer assessment questions. (First published 2012)

Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (PDF)
Lesson Plan (HTML)
Student Worksheet (HTML)

Student Article (PDF) 
Student Article (HTML)

 

The Science of Marijuana: How THC Affects the Brain
Use this lesson and student worksheet printable to reinforce comprehension of the student article “The Science of Marijuana: How THC Affects the Brain.” Students use scientific facts regarding marijuana to label parts of the brain and respond to critical thinking questions about how marijuana can influence behavior. (First published 2011)

Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (PDF) 
Lesson Plan (HTML) 
Student Worksheet (HTML)

Student Article (PDF) 
Student Article (HTML)

 

Marijuana Facts: Breaking Down the Myths
Use this lesson and student worksheet printable to reinforce comprehension of the student article “Marijuana Facts: Breaking Down the Myths.” Students use factual information regarding marijuana use to create public service announcements about the drug. (First published 2011)

Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (PDF)
Lesson Plan (HTML)
Student Worksheet (HTML)

Student Article (PDF)
Student Article (HTML)

 

Marijuana: Download the Facts (Poster/Teaching Guide)
The following lesson and printable worksheets give your students important tools to help them analyze the meaning behind media and social messages. Paired with essential facts about the risks associated with marijuana use, these lessons will equip your students to make informed decisions. (First published 2011)

Lesson 1: Marijuana Facts (HTML)
Printable Worksheet 1: Marijuana Facts (PDF)

Lesson 2: Consider the Source (HTML)
Printable Worksheet 2: Consider the Source (PDF)

Lesson 3: Think It Through (HTML)
Printable Worksheet 3: Think It Through (PDF)

Lesson 4: Analyzing Media Messages (HTML)
Printable Worksheet 4: Analyzing Media Messages (PDF)

Classroom Poster (PDF)

Lesson and printable worksheets combined:
Poster/Teaching Guide (PDF)
Poster/Teaching Guide (HTML)

 

Prescription Stimulants
Use this lesson and student worksheet printable to reinforce comprehension of the student article “Prescription Stimulants.” Students discuss questions and take a quiz about prescription stimulants, how they can safely treat ADHD, and why abusing them is dangerous. (First published 2011)

Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (PDF)
Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (HTML)

Student Article (PDF)
Student Article (HTML)

 

Prescription Pain Medications
Use this lesson and student worksheet printable to reinforce comprehension of the student article “Prescription Pain Medications.” Student discuss questions and take a quiz about how prescription pain medications affect the body and why abusing them is dangerous. (First published 2011)

Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (PDF)
Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (HTML)

Student Article (PDF) 
Student Article (HTML)

 

Straight Talk on Prescription Drugs
Use this lesson and student worksheet printable to reinforce comprehension of the student article “Straight Talk on Prescription Drugs,” in which a teen reporter interviews the director of the nation’s leading research agency on drug abuse and addiction. Students discuss questions about prescription-drug abuse and apply factual information regarding prescription medications to respond to critical-thinking questions. (First published 2010)

Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (PDF)
Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (HTML)

Student Article (PDF) 
Student Article (HTML)



Facts Into Action
Use this lesson and student worksheet printable to reinforce comprehension of the student article “Facts Into Action.” Students learn and practice strategies for using the facts they know to make smart decisions when it comes to drugs. (First published 2010)

Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (PDF)
Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (HTML)

Student Article (PDF)
Student Article (HTML)

 

TSI: Teen Science Investigations 
Use this lesson and student worksheet printable to reinforce comprehension of the student article “TSI: Teen Science Investigations.” Students learn how the winners of the 2009 Intel ISEF Addiction Science Awards used the scientific method in their award-winning research projects. (First published 2010)

Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (PDF)
Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (HTML)

Student Article (PDF)
Student Article (HTML)

 

Real Questions, Real Answers
Use this lesson and student worksheet printable to reinforce comprehension of the student article “Real Questions, Real Answers.” Students learn facts about drug abuse from leading scientists who answer real questions asked by teens during NIDA’s Drug Facts Chat Day. (First published 2009)

Student Article (PDF)
Student Article (HTML)

Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (PDF)
Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (HTML)

 

The Truth About “Rehab” and Drug Addiction 
Use this lesson and student worksheet printable to reinforce comprehension of the student article “The Truth About ‘Rehab’ and Drug Addiction.” Students learn about the reality of treatment for drug addiction. (First published 2009)

Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (PDF)
Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (HTML)

Student Article (PDF)
Student Article (HTML)

Related Article: Overlapping Illnesses
Drug addiction and other mental illnesses, such as depression, often occur in the same person, sometimes at the same time.

 

Stimulant Addiction
Use this lesson and student worksheet printable to reinforce comprehension of the student article “Stimulant Addiction.” Students learn how stimulants, such as cocaine, present serious health risks and can damage the brain and body. (First published 2009)

Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (PDF)
Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (HTML)

Student Article (PDF)
Student Article (HTML)

Related Article: Health Effects of Stimulants 
The health effects of stimulants, including cocaine, prescription stimulants, methamphetamine, MDMA, and nicotine.

 

Teen Science-Investigators 
Use this lesson and student worksheet printable to reinforce comprehension of the student article “Teen Science-Investigators.” Students learn how teens’ research projects help reveal the science behind drug abuse and addiction. The lesson includes a lesson strategy, discussion questions, and a graphing activity. (First published 2009)

Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (PDF)
Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (HTML)

Student Article (PDF)
Student Article (HTML)

Related Article: In Their Own Words: Teen Science-Investigators
Q&As with the teen winners of the NIDA-Scholastic Addiction Science Awards.


Genetics and Addiction 
Use this lesson and student worksheet printable to reinforce comprehension of the student article “Genetics and Addiction.” Students learn about new information in the field of genetics that will be able to help in the prevention and treatment of drug addiction. (First published 2008)

Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (PDF)
Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (HTML)

Student Article (PDF)
Student Article (HTML)

Related Article: Do You Know Your Risk for Addiction?
Research shows that a complex set of biological and environmental risk factors contributes to someone's risk for drug addiction.


Teens and Decision Making 
Recent research shows that emotions have an edge over logic in teen decision making. (First published 2008)

Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (PDF)
Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (HTML)

Student Article (PDF)
Student Article (HTML)

Related Article: Peer Pressure: Its Influence on Teens and Decision Making

 

The Truth About Hydrocodone
The active ingredient in many prescription pain relievers is a powerful drug—and is dangerous when not used as prescribed. (First published 2008)

Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (PDF)
Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (HTML)

Student Article (PDF)
Student Article (HTML)

Related Article: Dangerous Liaisons: Mixing Hydrocodone with Alcohol and Other Drugs 

 

Teen Health: Talking With Your Doctor 
Important information for teens on talking about personal health issues and drug abuse with doctors and other health-care professionals. (First published 2007)

Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (PDF)
Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (HTML)

Student Article (PDF)
Student Article (HTML)

Related Article: Answering Teen Questions About Drugs

 

Drug Abuse and Impairment
Find out the facts about impairment from drug abuse and how it can affect a wide range of abilities. (First published 2007)

Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (PDF)
Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (HTML)

Student Article (PDF)
Student Article (HTML)

Related Article: The Effects of Marijuana on the Brain

 

Health Literacy and Drug Abuse
Get the facts on how drug abuse and addiction can affect almost every system in your body. (First published 2007)

Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (PDF)
Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (HTML)

Student Article (PDF)
Student Article (HTML)

Related Article: In Harm's Way: More Facts About How Drug Abuse Puts Your Whole Body at Risk

Related Article: Surf Smarts

 

Stress and Drug Abuse
Find out facts about how the body responds to stress, and how stress puts people at risk for drug abuse or relapse to a drug addiction. (First published 2007)

Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (PDF)
Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (HTML)

Student Article (PDF)
Student Article (HTML)

Related Article: Drug Addiction and Stress: The Brain Connection
Related Article: Scientists Find a Connection Between 9/11 and Substance Abuse


Tobacco Addiction and Secondhand Smoke 
Find out facts about the chemicals in tobacco that make it addictive, as well as the deadly effects of smoking and secondhand smoke. (First published 2006)

Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (PDF)
Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (HTML)

Student Article (PDF)
Student Article (HTML)

Related Article: The Science of Nicotine Addiction
Related Article: Why Secondhand Smoke Is Dangerous

 

The Science of Addiction
Find out facts about why scientists consider drug addiction a chronic disease, and the roles that environment and genetics also play. (First published 2006)

Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (PDF)
Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printable (HTML)

Student Article (PDF)
Student Article (HTML)

Related Article: The Role of Genes in Drug Addiction
Related Article: The Science of Opioid Addiction


Drug Abuse in Social Settings: A Serious Risk for Teens
Use this lesson and the student worksheet printables to reinforce comprehension of the student article “A Day in the Life of a Teen: Decisions at Every Turn.” The teacher lesson plan includes a lesson strategy, discussion questions, and assessment tips. The student worksheet printables include a quiz to test comprehension, and a student activity to provide practice with analyzing a scientific survey. (First published 2006)

Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printables (PDF)

Student Article (PDF)
Student Article (HTML)

 

Prescription Drug Abuse: Teens in Danger 
Use this lesson and the student worksheet printables to reinforce comprehension of the student article “Prescription Drugs: Their Use and Abuse.” The teacher lesson plan includes a lesson strategy, discussion questions, and assessment tips. The student worksheet printables include a quiz to test comprehension. (First published 2006)

Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printables (PDF)

Student Article (PDF)
Student Article (HTML)

 

Inhalants: A Looming Threat for All Teens
Use this lesson and the student worksheet printables to reinforce comprehension of the student article “Poison Vapors: The Truth About Inhalants.” The teacher lesson plan includes a lesson strategy, discussion questions, and assessment tips. The student worksheet printables include a quiz to test comprehension and a student activity to provide practice with analyzing scientific information. (First published 2005)

Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printables (PDF)

Student Article (PDF)
Student Article (HTML)

 

Methamphetamine: A Threatening Scourge on Teens, Families, and Communities
Use this lesson and the student worksheet printables to reinforce comprehension of the student article “Methamphetamine: Toxic. Addictive. Devastating. Get the Facts!” The teacher lesson plan includes a lesson strategy, discussion questions, and assessment tips. The student worksheet printables include a quiz to test comprehension and a student activity to provide practice with analyzing scientific data. (First published 2005)

Lesson Plan and Student Worksheet Printables (PDF)

Student Article (PDF)
Student Article (HTML)

 

Obesity and Drug Addiction
Use this lesson and worksheet printable to reinforce comprehension of the student article “Two Teen Health Dangers: Obesity and Drug Addiction.” The teacher lesson plan includes a lesson strategy; discussion questions; and an activity that is designed to give students information about the connection between drug addiction and obesity, increase students’ understanding of addiction and the brain, and broaden students’ understanding of the scientific process. (First published 2005)

Lesson Plan (PDF)
Student Worksheet Printable (PDF)

Student Article (PDF)
Student Article (HTML)

 

Dangerous Cravings and the Brain
Use this lesson and worksheet printable to reinforce comprehension of the student article “Two Teen Health Dangers: Obesity and Drug Addiction.” The teacher lesson plan includes a lesson strategy and an activity in which students use scientific data to draw conclusions about the effect of increasing D2 dopamine receptor levels in the brain. (First published 2005)

Lesson Plan (PDF)
Student Worksheet Printable (PDF)

Student Article (PDF)
Student Article (HTML)

 

What Do You Know About Teen Drug Trends?

Use this lesson and worksheet printable to reinforce comprehension of the student article “Abuse of Inhalants and Prescription Drugs: Real Dangers for Teens.” The teacher lesson plan includes a lesson strategy and an activity that educates students about teen drug-use trends and the dangers of particular drugs that are being more frequently used by teens. (First published 2005)

Lesson Plan (PDF)
Student Worksheet Printable (PDF)

Student Article (PDF)
Student Article (HTML)


How Inhalant Abuse Damages the Brain 
Use this lesson and worksheet printable to reinforce comprehension of the student article “Abuse of Inhalants and Prescription Drugs: Real Dangers for Teens.” The teacher lesson plan includes a lesson strategy and an activity in which students use scientific data to draw conclusions about the effects of inhalants on the brain. (First published 2005)

Lesson Plan (PDF)
Student Worksheet Printable (PDF)

Student Article (PDF)
Student Article (HTML)


What Do You Know About Teens, Drugs, and Disease?
Use this lesson and worksheet printable to reinforce comprehension of the student article “Teens, Drug Abuse, and AIDS: The Deadly Connection.” The teacher lesson plan includes a lesson strategy, discussion tips, and an activity that educates students about the connection between drug abuse and bloodborn diseases. (First published 2004)

Lesson Plan (PDF)
Student Worksheet Printable (PDF)

Student Article (PDF)
Student Article (HTML)

 

Heads Up: The Rising HIV Rates Among Girls and Women
Use this lesson and worksheet printable to reinforce comprehension of the student article “Teens, Drug Abuse, and AIDS: The Deadly Connection.” The teacher lesson plan includes a lesson strategy and an activity in which students use scientific data to analyze and draw conclusions about the effects of the worldwide AIDS epidemic on women. (First published 2004)

Lesson Plan (PDF)
Student Worksheet Printable (PDF)

Student Article (PDF)
Student Article (HTML)


Heads Up: How Much Do You Know About Drug Addiction?
Use this lesson and worksheet printable to reinforce comprehension of the student article “Drug Addiction Is a Disease: Why the Teen Brain Is Vulnerable.” The teacher lesson plan includes discussion questions and assessment tips to test students’ knowledge about drug addiction before and after reading the article. (First published 2004)

Lesson Plan (PDF)
Student Worksheet Printable (PDF)

Student Article (PDF)
Student Article (HTML)

 

Heads Up: Drug Abuse Affects Decision Making
Use this lesson and worksheet printable to reinforce comprehension of the student article “Drug Addiction Is a Disease: Why the Teen Brain Is Vulnerable.” The teacher lesson plan includes a lesson strategy and discussion questions to help students use scientific data to draw their own conclusions about the effects of drug use on the brain. (First published 2004)

Lesson Plan (PDF)
Student Worksheet Printable (PDF)

Student Article (PDF)
Student Article (HTML)

 

POSTER/TEACHING GUIDE PRINTABLES

Drug Facts: Shatter the Myths
This poster and teaching guide are designed for teachers to display and use in the classroom year-round to remind student
s of the importance of getting the facts when it comes to drugs and drug abuse. The teaching guide includes a lesson plan and worksheet to help students identify drug facts vs. myths, eye-opening questions and answers from NIDA’s National Drug IQ Challenge, and take-home activities in both English and Spanish. (First published 2010)

Facts on Drugs: Teen Guide to Making Smart Decisions 
(Includes the poster “Life’s Complicated Enough: Make Smart Decisions About Drugs”)
This important teaching guide is a skill-building program that helps students understand the importance of informed decision making. The teaching guide includes turnkey lessons and worksheet printables that support the idea that when young people know the facts, they have the tools to make smart choices. Find lessons and critical-thinking activities that bring students the facts about the science behind teen brain development and decision making, as well as the health risks associated with drug abuse. (First published 2008)

The Teen Brain: Under Construction
The teen brain is still developing, so it is particularly vulnerable to the effects of drugs. Drugs interfere with the teen brain’s natural development, affecting not only the brain, but the entire body. Check out the poster and article to learn more about how drugs affect the brain and body. The accompanying teacher guide includes lessons, discussion questions, and student activities about drug addiction and how drug abuse affects decision making. (First published 2004)

You Can't Sniff Away Your Sorrows: Drug Abuse May Cause Addiction, Memory Loss, Heart Failure, Organ Damage, or Death
Check out the Heads Up Poster Contest Grand Prize–winning artwork and poster concept by student Ania Lisa Etienne. Then use the lesson strategy, discussion questions, and student worksheet activities to help students learn more about how drugs can affect their brain and health. (First published 2003)

Drugs and the Body—It Isn't Pretty
(Includes English and Spanish versions of the poster)
Nicotine. Heroin. Cocaine. Marijuana. Inhalants. Methamphetamine. Steroids. They all cause damage. Check out the poster and explore printable activities to find out how drugs of abuse affect the brain and body. The poster teaching guide includes student worksheet activities, an answer key, and Web resources. (First published 2002)

 

HEADS UP SKILLS PAGES 

Heads Up Skills Pages - 14 Drug Education Activities
Get the facts about how drugs affect the brain and body using this complete set of printable skills pages, which include activities that teach body and brain science, reading comprehension, graphs, charts, sequencing, and critical thinking. (First published 2003)