Drug Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Mary Beth Burns

Mary Beth has taught 1st, 4th and 5th grade and has a specialist degree in Educational Leadership. She is currently an assistant principal.

Drugs are an important issue in countries around the world. Come and learn about what drugs are, the different types of drugs and what they do and some ways to say no to drugs.

Good and Bad Drugs

Think about the last time that you went to the doctor and he or she prescribed some medicine. What happened to your body after you took the medicine? Hopefully, it made your symptoms go away so you felt better.

The medicine that you took is also known as a drug, or a chemical that changes the way your body or mind works. Sometimes, drugs can change the way that you feel, behave or think. Drugs are able to make these changes by interfering with your brain's chemical signals.

Medicine is a drug

While it is perfectly fine to take drugs that are prescribed by a doctor, the problem that we run into with drugs is when people choose to use them recreationally. This means that people take drugs 'for fun' without medical permission. Most of the time, this is illegal and can be considered drug abuse, which is not good for you and can actually end up killing you.

Types of Drugs

No two drugs are the same, and different drugs can have different effects on people. Drugs can be categorized into Three basic categories: stimulants, depressants and hallucinogens.


Have you ever had too much soda and felt really hyper? This is because soda has caffeine in it, which is a stimulant. Stimulants make you feel really energetic and speed things up in your body, like your heart rate and blood pressure. Examples of stimulants include cocaine and crystal meth.


In some ways, depressants are the opposite of stimulants. Stimulants speed everything up, while depressants slow everything down. People who are taking depressants might feel relaxed or drowsy. Examples of depressants include sleeping pills and alcohol; cigarettes can act as stimulants and depressants.

Side effects of cigarettes


Opiates are a type of depressant and super strong painkillers that can be prescribed by doctors for people who are in extreme pain or are recovering from surgery. While this is perfectly okay, sometimes people end up using opiates when they are not prescribed to them. Opiates are pills that can give you an initially strong feeling of happiness, followed by a calm and peaceful feeling. Examples of opiates are Oxycontin, morphine and codeine.


How scary would it be to see things, feel things or hear things that aren't really there? This is called a hallucination, and it is what hallucinogens do to your brain. People on hallucinogens have a hard time determining what is real and what isn't. LSD, Salvia and Ketamine are examples of hallucinogens.

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