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.

Labeling Drugs

To identify and label medicines and illegal drugs that childern may encounter and to distinguish between substances that may be helpful and those that are harmful.

Young children should be made aware that there are medicines that are good for us when we are sick and illegal drugs that harm us. Children should know that medicines can be essential to our general health and well-being when used as directed by the person for whom it was prescribed. They should also know that medicines are given to them by a credible person, such as a parent or the school nurse, who wants them to feel

Ask students to help you create a list of drugs, and write the list on the chalkboard (examples: aspirin, cough syrup, tobacco). Have cut-out copies of the plus and minus signs available for the discussion. 

Discuss each drug and explain whether it is a medicine (helpful) or a drug they should not take (harmful and illegal). With students' help, tape a plus sign next to each medicine on the chalkboard and a minus sign next to each illegal drug. 

Discuss how each medicine on the list can help make people well and healthy (example: aspirin reduces swelling and pain; cough syrup calms a cough). Explain that medicines are accompanied by directions on how much to take and when to use them (too much medicine or the wrong medicine can make people sick) .

Plus and minus signs; scissors; tape; chalkboard.

Teacher Tips
For illegal drugs, provide some examples of common or street names from the drug chart in the Resources section at the end of this document.

Prepare your own list of medicines and illegal drngs, in case students have trouble com-ing up with suggestions.

Learning to Live Drug-Free, A Curriculum Model for Prevention, U.S. Department of Education's Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program

2490 Coral Way, Miami, FL 33145 | Phone: 800-705-8997

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