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Brain Power: Grades 6-9



  • Read the Background section of this module for more information about the effects of heroin and cocaine on the brain and body.
  • Provide students with the Module 5 magazine Drugs on the Street for background knowledge.
  • Determine which activities you want the class to complete.
  • Arrange for computer lab time or prepare the classroom computer for students’ Internet and CD-ROM use.
  • Photocopy and pass out the Heroin and Cocaine Fact Sheet for students to complete during the lecture.
  • Prepare transparencies and photocopies for the lesson.


Time: 20 - 25 minutes

Handouts: Module 5 magazine (PDF, 7MB)

Heroin and Cocaine Fact Sheet (PDF, 668KB)
(Page 22 in the pdf)

Reading: Begin by giving students adequate time to read the student magazine. Have students pay particular attention to the following sections: Background, Stats and Facts, and Science in the Spotlight.

Discussion: After students have read the magazine, ask the students what they know about heroin and cocaine. Record all thoughts on the chalkboard. Tell them that the goal of this lesson is to learn about cocaine and heroin. Facilitate a discussion about the brain, heroin, and cocaine using the following questions.


  • How is heroin used?
  • What are the receptors in the brain that heroin binds to?
  • What neurotransmitter is most affected by heroin use?
  • How does the brain change as a result of heroin use?
  • What happens in the brain that causes heroin addiction?


  • How is cocaine used?
  • What are some of the effects of cocaine on the central nervous system?
  • What neurotransmitter is affected by cocaine?
  • How does the brain change as a result of cocaine use?
  • What are the long-term effects of cocaine use?

This page was last updated June 2007

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Cite this article

NIDA. (2007, June 1). Brain Power: Grades 6-9. Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/brain-power/brain-power-grades-6-9

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