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the other drug war


Pre-Viewing Lesson Plan
  • Media Messages
  • Student Handout: Key Concepts in Media Literacy
  • Student Handout: Prescription Drug Advertising

  • Viewing Lesson Plan
  • Student Viewing Guide
  • Student Handout: Questions for Viewing
  • Student Handout: Key Terms and Definitions

  • Post-Viewing Lesson Plans
  • The Rest of the Story
  • Great Debates

  • Supplementary Activities

    Internet Resources

    Printable .pdf of Entire Guide
    (Adobe Acrobat required)

    » Supplementary Activities

    1. When discussing the high cost of prescription drugs in "The Other Drug War," senior Carleen Simpson asked: "Why invent [a medication] if the common person can't afford it?" Have students consider her question and write a response.

    2. The film makes mention of several medical conditions for which popular prescription drugs are commonly prescribed. Students can choose one of the conditions to research, including the drugs frequently prescribed to control the conditions and alternative medical recommendations for controlling the illness.

      Students may want to refer to the transcript of "The Other Drug War" to find which drugs are often prescribed for the conditions at: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/other/etc/script.html

      Medical conditions referred to in the film are the following:
      • High cholesterol
      • Arthritis
      • Osteoporosis
      • Schizophrenia
      • Asthma
      • Alzheimer's disease

    3. Conduct a classroom discussion on the title of the FRONTLINE film. What does the term "drug war" usually refer to? How does FRONTLINE use the term for this film? Explain whether or not you feel the title is appropriate. Consider the potential uses and misuses of illegal, prescription, and over-the-counter drugs.

      Note: The FRONTLINE series "Drug Wars," which aired in 2000, provides a comprehensive examination of the U.S. government's policies to fight illegal drugs over the last 30 years. Teachers may want to consult the Teacher's Guide for that program prior to leading this discussion at: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/teach/american/drugs/

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