Children of parents who talk to their teens regularly about drugs are 42% less likely to use drugs than those who don't, yet only a quarter of teens report having these conversations.

The Drug Dope Show

• To understand the addiction process and factual information concerning various classes of drugs. 

• To learn techniques for exerting positive peer pressure as well as withstanding negative peer pressure.


1. Begin the lesson with an introductory discussion on drug use:

How widespread do they feel the drug problem is in their country. What about their state, city, neighborhood, and school?

How does today's drug use compared to that of 10 years ago, 20 years ago, etc.

• Why do they feel drug use is so prevalent?

• What are possible reasons why people begin using durgs? 

• Once someone is addicted to drugs, what controls the addiction? The user, or the drug itself?

2. Explain to students that they will be working on a 4 day project in which they expand upon the information given in the video with facts and ideas of their own. They will be presenting a talk show entitled "The Drug Dope Show". If you plan to use the video "Drug Abuse: Altered States" in this lesson, show the program at this time.

3. Students will draw for groups (7 total). Place individual drug categories on slips of paper in a container (the number depends how many students will be in each group). After all have drawn, students find others with the same drug topic. Topics should be:

• Club drugs
• Hallucinogens
• Sedatives
• Narcotics
• Amphetamines
• Inhalants

4. Each group will be responsible for the facts involving their assigned drug, such as street names, forms, short-term and long-term effects on the body, and treatment. Groups should also explore addiction and recovery process in general, and the effects of drug abuse on society, family, friends, work, school, etc.

5. Each group will also be responsible for role-playing at least 3 drug-involved situations in which a different type of positive peer pressure is used. Possible situations include:

• Walking away from people discussing drug use
• Distancing oneself from friends who are using
• Joining a drug-free group
• Refusing to attend a party where drugs are used

6. On the first day of the lesson, students should get organized within their groups, dividing research responsibilities and developing role-play situations.

7. On the second day, students will continue research, in books or on the Internet, while recording their results.

8. The third day will be spent working with teams to organize their talk show and materials to be presented. Try not to be specific about the talk show format, so students will generate their own ideas. Encourage them to bring in humor and creativity, as well as "spoofing" existing programs that everyone might be familiar with. Possible ideas include:

• A "guest interview" format where one student is the "host" and others play recovering addicts, treatment counselors, doctors, etc.

• A "panel" format where students play experts and take questions from the class.

• A "magazine" format where a reporter covers several different stories and sub-topics.

Classroom Assessment

Score student work as a combination of individual and group assessment, according to the following 100 point scale:

• Addressed the category and forms of the drug, and how it is taken: 15 points
• Addressed street or common names of the drug: 10 points 
• Addressed other drugs within the same category: 10 points Addressed short-term and long-term effects on the body: 10 points
• Addressed the addiction and recovery process: 15 points 
• Presented 3 positive peer-pressure role-plays: 15 points 
• Completed well-prepared, interesting presentation: 15 points
• Contributed to group effort: 10 points

Computers connected to the Internet Drug
Information Web sites list
PBS In the Mix video: "Drug Abuse: Altered States" (Optional)

Teacher Tips
• Students might present their talk shows to other classes, junior high classes, DARE classes or service organizations within their community.

Talk shows might be videotapes and aired on the school's television station, or on a local public access station.

They might also plan an extensive ad campaign dealing with positive peer pressure techniques and/or emphasize resistance techniques.

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