Narcotics Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

What are narcotics and how do they impact the mind and body? This lesson uses an informative video lesson to explain key facts about narcotics and their use before an activity allows students to explore specific types of narcotics.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define 'narcotic'
  • list examples of legal and illegal narcotics
  • describe the psychological and physical effects of narcotics
  • discuss the risks of the abuse of narcotics


45 to 60 minutes

Curriculum Standards


Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to the precise details of explanations or descriptions.


Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; trace the text's explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, or concept; provide an accurate summary of the text.


Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks, attending to special cases or exceptions defined in the text.


Determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific or technical context relevant to grades 9-10 texts and topics.


Translate quantitative or technical information expressed in words in a text into visual form (e.g., a table or chart) and translate information expressed visually or mathematically (e.g., in an equation) into words.


  • Paper copies of the worksheet from the associated video lesson
  • Medication information sheets (like those included with a prescription from a pharmacy)
  • A list of different types of narcotics
  • Drug encyclopedias with images (either physical or online)
  • Multipurpose paper
  • Markers


  • Begin by writing the term 'narcotics' on the board for the class to see.
  • Ask students to take turns listing examples of narcotics as you write them on the board.
  • Play the video lesson Effects of Narcotic Drugs on the Mind & Body, pausing it at 1:21.
    • What are narcotics?
    • Did any of the terms listed on the board appear in the video lesson?
    • What is the difference between legal and illegal narcotics?
    • What is prescription drug abuse?
    • What is the main function of narcotics?
    • Why are narcotics so widely abused?
  • Play the video lesson again and pause it at 2:17.
    • What happens when narcotics are taken in large doses?
    • Can you name some of the psychological effects of narcotics?
    • Why are narcotics so addictive?
    • What is tolerance?
  • Play the video lesson again, pausing it this time at 3:35.
    • How can narcotics affect the bodies of users?
    • What is narcotic dependency?
    • What happens during withdrawal from narcotics?
  • Play the remainder of the video lesson for the class.
  • Review key facts about narcotics with the class before distributing the worksheet to each of the students.
  • Have the students work independently to complete the worksheet.
  • When all students have finished the worksheet, review each question and answer with the class as students follow along, checking their work.

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