Tragedy and Hope: The Brain on Autopilot Lesson
Grades 9-12 - One class period
Students will be able to:
- Understand how drugs affect the brain
- Relate drug addiction to other bodily needs
- Tragedy and Hope Stories of Painkiller Addiction
- Quote Worksheet
Addiction, tolerance, withdrawal
- Students will watch the Tragedy and Hope Stories of Painkiller Addiction segments featuring Ryan and Dr. Blondell.
- The facilitator will start a class discussion based on the program segments.
- In regards to Ryan’s Story – have any of the students felt compelled to act on a feeling? For example, have they ever felt compelled to continue eating even though they were full?
- Dr. Blondell’s Segment – how many students agree with the statement about “brains being on autopilot?” How does a person overcome “autopilot?” Can they?
- The facilitator will distribute the Quote Worksheet and students will review the quotes from the program given by Ryan and Dr. Blondell.
- Students will complete the Quote Worksheet.
Students should actively participate in the class discussion on decision making and how the brain works. Students will provide a written response to both of the quotes from Tragedy and Hope Stories of Painkiller Addiction on the Quote Worksheet.
Have the students write a poem or song lyrics that contain their own analogy about addiction, hunger, and/or thirst and how the body and brain react to those needs.
National Health Standards
- Standard 2- Students will analyze the influence of family, peers, culture, media, technology, and other factors on health behaviors.
- Standard 5 - Students will demonstrate the ability to use decision making skills to enhance health.
- Standard 7 - Students will demonstrate the ability to practice health-enhancing behaviors and avoid or reduce health risks.
The Science of Addiction