Resource & Discussion Guide
SECTION IV – SUBSTANCES OF ABUSE
(Cue VHS to 45:00 or DVD to Chapter 4) This section begins with the following narration. “From pills for pain to medications to treat the common cold, there is no denying teenagers have found many other uses for the so-called “legal drugs” like prescription medications.” The video clip ends with a young man, silhouetted saying, “Toward the end of my drug use, money was always on my mind. I had a job but I burned bridges.” (Video length: 17:00)
According to a recent MTV poll, 30 percent of teens pointed to drug use and abuse as the most important issue they face today. Tied with drug use and abuse was the war in Iraq. Both issues topped the economy, safe sex/premarital sex/teen pregnancy, education, violence and peer pressure in the survey.
Combining facts with personal stories, this lesson delves into the current trends of substance abuse. Students will better understand the harmful effects from using and abusing illegal substances, as well as inhalants, prescription medication and over-the-counter pain relievers.
- There seems to be a general attitude that abusing prescription pain medication is acceptable and not as harmful to the body as other illegal drugs like heroin, cocaine or methamphetamine. Do you agree? Why is this the perception?
- Methamphetamine usage is currently taking Utah by storm. Ask the students what they know about methamphetamine and why they think it is currently the drug of choice. Follow this discussion with information about how meth is almost instantly addictive and incredibly destructive.
- You can find current information at the following Internet sites. http://www.freevibe.com (On the left column, click on meth) http://www.nida.nih.gov/infofax/methamphetamine.html
- Make a list of legal and illegal drugs that are often abused. Assign each student a drug to research in terms of its harm, medical benefit, and impact on the individual, society and the environment. Report the findings to the class.
Substances may include: Methamphetamine, Heroin, Cocaine, Crack, Marijuana, Hashish, GHB, Rohypnol, Ecstasy, Inhalants, LSD, PCP, Prescription Pain Medications (OxyContin, Lortab, Codeine, Percocet, Vicodin), Prescription Sedatives and Tranquilizers (Xanax, Valiums, Quaaludes, Mebaral, Nembutal), PMA, Steroids, Ketamine, Alcohol, Tobacco, Khat, Mushrooms, Ritalin, Peyote, Pseudoephedrine, Foxy, DMT, DXM, 2C-B, 2C-T-7.
This Resource & Study Guide is also available as a PDF document suitable for printing. In addition, there is a supplemental document, Drug Definitions & Symptoms (print).