NIDA Scientist Virtual Q&A Videos: Teacher’s Guide

Description: In this lesson, students will watch videos and learn answers to teens’ top questions about drug use and addiction.

Instructions for Use:

  • Discussions.
    • Before showing the videos, ask students to respond to the question asked in each video in their own words. Ask them to write or type their response in the format that best fits your classroom style. Invite students to share their answers and encourage them to discuss.
    • In small groups or as a class, have students watch a video and discuss what they learned, using the discussion questions below to guide the conversation. 
  • Writing Prompts.
    • Ask students to watch a video and respond to one or more of the discussion questions in writing. 

Remote Learning Teaching Tips: Following the same tips as for in-person teaching, wrap up the activity by having students write or type three to five new things they learned or thought about as a result of this lesson. They can share their answers on the next class video call, through a prerecorded video clip, or by posting to the classroom discussion board.

Support Materials:


What is the worst drug?
  • Is one drug worse than another? Why or why not?
  • What is fentanyl? Why is it so dangerous and so widespread in overdose death?
  • Alcohol is a legal substance that is widely used. What are some of the negative consequences of alcohol use? 
Can using drugs help me deal with anxiety and depression?
  • List some healthy ways to cope with anxiety and depression. Do you think these activities or methods would be better than substance use for someone in the long term?
  • Where should you go or who should you reach out to if you are experiencing anxiety or depression?
What happens when drugs are combined?
  • Combining drugs—whether illegal or legal, such as over-the-counter medicines or alcohol—can be riskier than taking one drug.
  • Can drug combinations raise the risk of overdose? If so, how? Drinking alcohol while taking certain medications can lead to serious health problems. Why?
What is addiction?
  • Explain what addiction is.
  • Why does a person continue to use or misuse drugs, even when they understand the impact of doing this?
  • What does the prefrontal cortex of the brain help you do?
  • What happens to this region of the brain as a result of repeated use of a substance?