From the time children begin school through their graduation it is crucial that they are armed with the information needed to make safe, healthy choices regarding drugs. Teachers, whether adding a lesson to the daily routine or planning for a whole course on drug education, can choose from many free drug awareness resources for the classroom.
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American Council for Drug Education
The American Council for Drug Education's website is a complete resource for drug awareness in the classroom. Educators have access to tips for talking about drugs in the classroom, four levels of lesson plans, facts about drugs and information on how to recognise the signs and symptoms of drug use among students.
The classroom tips include how to set up a classroom for discussion, age-appropriate messages and how to talk to students about marijuana use. Lesson plans may include discussing with students who they can safely take medicines from or the effects steroids have on the body. Printed publications, available for purchase, provide teachers with visual resources for the classroom as well.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provides resources for teachers to go along with an over-the-counter medicine lesson plan titled "Medicines in My Home." The drug awareness resource provides a list of objectives as well as a teacher's kit for use with students. The teacher's kit includes animated presentations, handouts, worksheets and more. There is also a list of handouts and projects for the teacher to send home with the students. Teachers may also print out a page of frequently asked questions that the students may pose about over-the-counter medicines.
National Institute on Drug Abuse
Teacher resources at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) for drug awareness include curriculum, statistical information on the use and abuse of drugs by teenagers, posters, reproducible content as well as teacher and student books that may be printed out. The curriculum covers a range of drug awareness topics such as the effects of addiction on the brain for high school students and the consequences of drug use for younger students. Teachers may also access the NIDA Teen website to complete the "Mind Over Matter" drug awareness series with their students, which also includes a teacher's guide.
Just Think Twice
Teachers in need of a drug awareness resource for middle and high school students may utilise the Just Think Twice website presented by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA.) The site provides teenagers with drug facts and myths, stories of real teenagers who have suffered through drug addiction and more. Teachers may download a free guide with instructions on how to use the use the online program with their students. The 51-page guide provides teachers with the information needed to carry out each of the modules on the website in the classroom through discussion and activities.
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