The Facts and Fictions of Addiction, Recovery, and Relapse

     Grades 7 - 8

     1-2 Class Periods


Program Segment(s)

  • Dealing with Addiction (approximately 15 minutes)

"Dealing with Addiction" Jennifer Weiss-Burke speaks about her son Cameron a high school wrestler who was injured.

  • OPTIONAL - The Demand for Opioids (approximately 15 minutes) – play end of chapter for alternative pain treatments

"The Demand for Opioids" Prior to the mid-90s, the use of opioids to treat pain was limited.



Students will be able to:

  • Recognize whether a statement about addiction is a fact or not.
  • List some options for addiction recovery.
  • Explain why relapse occurs so often.


Instructional Resources

1. The teacher will explain that many things about prescription painkiller addiction are misunderstood.
2. Before viewing the Understanding the Opioid Epidemic video segments, the students will be asked:
What are some FACTS about prescription painkiller, or opioid, addiction?
3. The teacher will write any facts or comments that the students offer on the board.
4. Students will watch video segments and take notes, especially any facts about opioid addiction.
5. The teacher will encourage students to share their notes and how they compare to their thoughts that were written on the board prior to watching the video segments.
6. Students will then play Fact or Fiction.
a. On the board, or in a place where all students can see, the teacher should post the “FACT” and “FICTION” signs.
b. After shuffling, the teacher will give one Fact or Fiction Card (cut apart ahead of time) to each student. The teacher should NOT indicate to students which category their statement falls under.
c. The students should be divided into groups of 4-6 students. Groups will be given some time to sort the statements within their groups, either fact or fiction.
d. Once all groups have sorted their statements, the teacher will prompt each group to stick their sorted statements on the board for the class to see. 
e. The teacher will then facilitate a discussion with the class to determine if there are any incorrect sorts. 
f. At the end of the class and discussion, each student will have to write one fact on a piece of paper and hand it in to the teacher as a “ticket” to leave.
Teacher may use websites such as  or  as evidence of all Fact statements.


Students should be active note takers while watching the Understanding the Opioid Epidemic video segments. All students should participate in class discussion and the Fact or Fiction game. Students will turn in one fact written on a piece of paper as their “ticket” to leave.


Adaptations (Grades 9-12)

  • Have the students choose one “FICTION” presented during the Fact or Fiction game and write a 1-page persuasive essay highlighting the reasons why the statement is fiction and not a fact. Students may use or as references.


National Health Standards

  • Standard 1 - Students will comprehend concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention to enhance health.
  • Standard 2 - Students will analyze the influence of family, peers, culture, media, technology, and other factors on health behaviors.
  • Standard 3 - Students will demonstrate the ability to access valid information, products, and services to enhance health.
  • Standard 5 - Students will demonstrate the ability to use decision-making skills to enhance health.


Download Icon The Facts and Fictions of Addiction, Recovery, and Relapse Lesson Plan (535.7 KB)

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