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Drugs-Notes and Activities


Peer Pressure

What role does the limbic system play in making decisions? The prefrontal cortex?

What is the role of dopamine? What is different about a teenager compared to an adult regarding dopamine?

What are the possible biological reasons teens decide to do things with peers they would never do on their own? How is this positive? Negative?

When a teen is driving, what is the driving risk?  With another teen in the car? With 2 or more teens in the car?

What is the experts’ advice for avoiding risky choices?

What makes saying “no” difficult to something you don’t want to do?

How would you respond in the following situations? List the risks and benefits or each situation.

You are out at a friend’s house and your friend opens up a beer. Your friend asks if you want one. Several of your other friends agree to have one. What is your response?

You want to go to a concert. Your friend offers to drive both ways. You know your friend plans on drinking. A couple of your other friends have said they are going to go. What would you do?

You get into a car with 3 of your friends. They begin to start smoking weed. They ask if you want to try. What do you do?

Brain and Drugs-

How can brain research help explain how teens make decisions?



Alcohol Worksheet

What percentage of people report drinking in the past month?

What percentage of people 18+ reported to binge drink in the past month?

Among preventable deaths, where does alcohol rank?

How much did the US spend on alcohol misuse in 2010?

Globally, what are some diseases alcohol can contribute to?

What percentage of people 12-20 reported binge drinking in the last month?

What percentage of college students reported binge drinking in the past month?

Each year, how many college students die from alcohol related unintentional injuries each year?

Each year, how many college students are assaulted by someone who was drinking?

Each year, how many college students experience alcohol related sexual assault or date rape?

What percentage of students meet the criteria for alcohol use disorder?

What percentage of students report academic consequences from drinking? What are some of the consequences?

What percentage of liver transplants was due to alcohol?

Using alcohol can increase the risk for what cancers?

Define alcohol use disorder:

Define binge drinking:

Define heavy alcohol use:

What statistic was most interesting to you?

Why do you think college students continue to drink even though there are so many consequences?

If you got caught drinking, what would the repercussions be at school?

If a parent or guardian caught you drinking, what would the repercussions be?

If the police caught you drinking, what would the repercussions be?

How do you think this would affect your future?


Alcohol and Brain Damage in Teens

What are some reasons teens drink?

What percentage of teens have tried alcohol?

What type of drinking are teens likely to engage in?

Teens who binge drink are more likely to become what?

What is the relationship between intoxication and the liver?

What percentage of high schoolers have been drunk at least once?

What are some consequences of drinking?

What makes an adolescent brain more vulnerable to the effects of alcohol?

What consequences did girls face after engaging in heavy drinking during adolescence? For boys?

When comparing HS binge drinkers to non-binge drinkers, what happened to the brain?

How many times did the students need to binge drink to endure the consequences?

Do you think the information from the articles will help stop underage drinking? Why or why not?



Alcohol Poisoning

Why is binge drinking dangerous?

What type of drug is alcohol?

What can alcohol shut down in your body?

Compared to adults, what warning signs do teens might not have?

What is the problem with “sleeping off” drunkenness?

Why are teens reluctant to call for help?

What is medical amnesty protection?

What message does Ursula give to teens?

Typically, how many drinks of alcohol can the liver handle?

Why is alcohol considered a downer?

What are some myths about sobering up?

What are the symptoms of alcohol poisoning that should signal a call for help to an adult or 911?

Why is inducing vomiting a bad idea?

What position should you never let a person with alcohol poisoning be in? Why?

What is a better position?

What is the best decision? Why?

What is the Good Samaritan Law?



What is the definition of addiction?

What percentage of Americans over the age of 12 have used tobacco in the last month?

What causes addiction in tobacco?

How quickly does the effect of nicotine work when smoking?

What is the percentage of cancer deaths related to smoking? What percentage of lung cancer is linked to smoking?

Teen smoking is at its lowest level. However, what is a problem with teenage smoking compared to adults?

How many Americans are exposed to second hand smoke regularly?

What diseases can second hand smoke lead to?

What is the only way to fully protect from second hand smoke?

What is the last area of the brain to mature? What effect does this have on teen smoking?

What additional chemical is put into tobacco smoke to potentially get teens addicted?

What are the benefits of quitting smoking immediately?

What are some withdrawal symptoms?

How long did the subjects need to be exposed to second hand smoke to affect blood flow?

What happened to blood flow?


E-cigs (ENDS-electronic nicotine delivery system)

What are e-cigs designed to do?

What are the parts of an e-cig?

What type of trend is e-cigs having with teenagers?

What effect do e-cigarettes have on the body?

What is the “priming effect” and how does it relate to nicotine?

Does smoking e-cigarettes help smokers quit?

Why are e-cigs dangerous for youth?

Why has juul become so attractive to young people?

Do you think juul knew it was going to be popular with kids?




Part 1: Use the information from the article “Not Fit for Human Consumption” to

answer the questions below about synthetic drugs and their effects.

1. Synthetic drugs made in illegal ________ can contain chemicals______

to act like other drugs.


2. One reason synthetic drugs are dangerous is they often have added chemicals that make

them more ___________.


3. ___________________ and ________________are drugs made of dried plant leaves sprayed with

Synthetic______________________ that can cause dangerous health problems, including heart attacks.


4. _________________is the main active ingredient in marijuana.


5. Like the stimulant drugs they mimic, _________________contain chemicals called cathinones,

which can cause hallucinations, paranoia, and a dangerous increase in heart rate.


6. ____________________prescription medications sold on the street have been found to contain

hidden amounts of the powerful synthetic opioid _________________ .


7. The producers of illegal synthetic drugs sometimes package the drugs with labels that are __________


8. Both legitimate and illegal synthetic opioids can pose a high risk for ____________

And __________________- .













“bath salts”










Marijuana-Follow Along

Any repeated pattern used for coping before age 25 is considered…

What conditions make the risk for addiction higher?

What are 3 steps to healing brain pathways?

Marijuana today may contain THC levels up to what percent?

What is synthetic marijuana?

What are the positives of legalizing marijuana?

What are the negatives?

Science shows that smoking marijuana on a regular basis can impair development of the teen brain, lower IQ, and also increase the risk for addiction. But recent studies show that fewer young people now think marijuana is harmful than in the past. To find out more, study the graph below and then answer the questions that follow.

SOURCE: University of Michigan, 2013 Monitoring the Future Study.

Questions (Write your answers on separate paper as needed.)

  • 1. a) According to the graph, around what year did high school seniors increasingly start thinking of marijuana as harmful? When did this trend change?


  • 1. b) When did past-year use of marijuana among high school seniors begin to rise?


  • 2. According to the graph, how does understanding the harms of marijuana affect use?


  • 3. Referring to the article “Marijuana: Breaking Down the Buzz,” identify at least four harmful effects marijuana could have on teens.


  • 4. Referring again to the article, why might teens today be confused about how safe marijuana is?





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