Resources for Educators

Last Updated: Wednesday, April 28, 2021

When it comes to preventing drug use among young people, education plays a very important role. This page contains online drug education resources – lesson plans, activities, videos – from different websites targeted to various grade levels that both parents and teachers can use.

Teen vaping – of both tobacco and THC (marijuana) – is on the rise and is a growing concern in schools. Check out these resources on the topic.

In addition, get information on how you can help students you think may have a problem, and more.

Get lesson plans and info for the drugs below:

Cocaine | Marijuana | Inhalants | Heroin | Methamphetamine | Opioids

General Drug Education Resources

Drugs and Your Body - Interactive  (For grades 6-12)

Drugs + Your Body screenshotScholastic and the scientists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) have created this poster/teaching guide, Drugs + Your Body: It Isn’t Pretty, to provide factual details and critical-thinking questions on the effects drugs have on the developing brain and body.


Teachers’ Guide:

Heads Up: Real News about Drugs and Your Body (For grades 6-12)

screen shot of the 'Heads Up' websiteNIDA and Scholastic teamed up to create a treasure trove of resources for both teachers and teens about the dangers of drug use in general and the dangers of specific drugs as well. You can access them using the links below.






Operation Prevention

Operation Prevention classroom resources website screen shotDEA and Discovery Education teamed up to produce Operation Prevention's classroom resources to provide educators with engaging tools that are aligned to national health and science standards and integrate seamlessly into classroom instruction. Through a series of hands-on investigations, these resources introduce students to the science behind opioids and their impact on the brain and body. Go to the site. Watch: Learn more about Operation Prevention



Operation Prevention: Virtual Field Trip

Operation Prevention Field Trip website screenshotTake your students on a virtual journey! Opioids: Real People. Real Stories. Real Science. is currently featured on the Operation Prevention website’s Virtual Field Trip section. During the journey, you'll meet two retired professional athletes, a musician and three generations -- all affected by opioid misuse in some way. The trip includes a companion guide that can be used to prepare your students for the “trip.” Go to the site.




desks in empty classroomEmpowering Teens: NIDA Toolkit for Out of School Time

This toolkit offers science-based activities and resources on drug use and addiction for educating teens during out of school time (OST). The OST setting—before and after school, in the summer, or any time teens attend a supervised program outside of the typical school time—offers a unique opportunity for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) learning. Read more.


Red Ribbon Curriculum

Red Ribbon Week website screenshotOrganized by grade level, this page contains a collection of tools and activities teachers can use to develop anti-drug lessons. Feel free to use them as a resource during Red Ribbon Week or anytime during the school year. Go to the site.






Drug Facts and Lesson Plans

Are you interested in lessons or activities focused on a specific drug? The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has an awesome Lesson Plan Finder that features FREE science-based lessons and interactive activities on teens and drugs. Go to their site to check it out.

Also, see quick facts about each drug below:


cocaine powder

Classroom Resources

Tips for Teens: The Truth About Cocaine (SAMHSA)

Quick Facts (DEA)

Video Lesson: Stimulants (DEA and Operation Prevention)








Classroom Resources

Tips for Teens: The Truth About Heroin (SAMHSA)

Quick Facts (DEA)





inhalants image

Classroom Resources

Inhalants: A Looming Threat for All Teens (Scholastic)

Tips for Teens: The Truth About Inhalants (SAMHSA)

Quick Facts (DEA)

Video Lesson: Inhalants (DEA and Operation Prevention)






image of marijuana

Classroom Resources

Marijuana: Breaking Down the Buzz (article)

Marijuana: Facts for Teens (NIDA)

Tips for Teens: The Truth About Marijuana (SAMHSA)

Quick Facts (DEA)

Video Lesson: Marijuana (DEA and Operation Prevention)





Classroom Resources

Tips for Teens: The Truth About Methamphetamine (SAMHSA)

Quick Facts (DEA)

Video Lesson: Stimulants (DEA and Operation Prevention)




Opioids and Prescription Drugs


Classroom Resources

Understanding the Opioid Epidemic (

Opioid Facts for Teens (NIDA)

Tips for Teens: The Truth About Opioids (SAMHSA)

Quick Facts (DEA)





Vaping Info

vaping text graphicVaping: Know the Facts (Addiction Policy Forum)

Check out this awareness campaign and toolkit for parents, teachers, school administrators, and teens.

Vaping Posters (Food and Drug Administration)

Print out these posters to hang in your classrooms. The posters feature eye-opening facts about vaping.


What if You Suspect a Student is Using Drugs?

serioushsstudent_articleBefore taking any action, it is important to consult the written guidelines your school or school system may have with regards to this matter. As a supplement, you may find the resources below helpful.

Substance Use Prevention: A Resource Guide for School Staff

If you work in a school setting you may be looking for information about youth substance use, the most commonly used drugs, the latest reserach and more. The Office of National Drug Control Policy recently released a guide for school staff. Read more.

Other Drug Enforcement Administration Websites

Just Think Twice

Created by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) specifically for young people, this site provides information about drugs and their consequences. Go to the site.

Campus Drug Prevention

This website is a part of DEA’s effort to support drug abuse prevention programs on college campuses and in surrounding communities. Go to the site.

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