Resources For Teaching About Drugs, Alcohol, and Addiction

425Over the past few days, I’ve seen so much buzz on the internet about the death of Philip Seymour Hoffmann. His untimely death is very sad, though not nearly unusual enough for stars, but there is something about the whole situation that strikes me as worth bringing up here.

In 2006, he publicly discussed his history of drug abuse. In May of 2013, he completed a detox program after relapsing after 23 years of sobriety. 23 years sober and addiction still took his life.

Addiction is real.

Addiction can kill.

Addiction is not something that just goes away with some quick treatment.

Addiction is happening in your communities, in your schools, maybe even in your own home. Your students or colleagues may be affected even if they are not the addict. If you know someone who is battling addiction or is affected by addiction, be compassionate. They may need help or already be getting it, but they need support and compassion and not judgement. We know that you probably already know this, but your students may not.

There are many, many resources and services out there. AA, NA, and SAMHSA all offer a variety of resources, and are a great place to start. Earlier in 2013, the lovely Dawn Casey Rowe put together this fabulous list of Learnist resources for teaching about drug and alcohol abuse.  We’re reposting it now in case you haven’t seen it yet. If you have a bookmarked folder of ‘just in case’ resources, this might be a good thing to save.

Drunk Driving

Mercyhurst Prep Health has put together one of the most extensive collections on on Learnist. This board is tough to get through, because it shows the human toll of drunk driving, as well as the cost to society. With learnings about teenage drunk driving, drunk driving after the prom and the extremely emotional “Faces of Drunk Driving,” this board shows the learner, “This could be you.” Hopefully, with continued education and awareness, it never will be.

Alcohol and Drug Prevention Education in Schools

Jeff Wolfsberg is a national expert in alcohol and drug addiction. This board discusses some of the issues in schools, and how experts, students, and families can recognize problems in order provide help as soon as possible.

A Guide to Staying Healthy in College

Erica Jackson acknowledges that there are challenges to staying healthy in college. Avoiding the “freshman 15,” and keeping a workout regimen helps develop good habits, but avoiding alcohol and drugs is also critical. Many college students struggle with this very serious problem.

Generation Rx

Carly Wick knows that Generation X is exceeding previous levels in alcohol and drug abuse, including prescription meds and binge drinking. This is a very large problem and growing, spreading all across the nation.

Tobacco/Alcohol/Drug Education

Erica Pavlovich is using this in her classroom to teach about the dangers of addiction. This board helps students in health class access the material they need to understand the seriousness of tobacco, alcohol, and drug use and abuse.

Alcohol Awareness Month: The Basics

Kate Garklavs discusses the basics behind alcohol addiction, including the way alcohol is processed by the body. These are important facts to know–the short term and long-term effects of alcohol are often very striking.


Dick Dillon teaches about addiction, cautioning not to substitute one addiction for another. This is often a challenge for those trying to recover from addiction–addictions are often personality traits. It’s very easy to swap them out.

Drive Hammered. Get Slammered

Drunk Driving is never acceptable. Each state has different laws on this subject, but they are all severe. People die as a result of drinking and driving. Sometimes the driver doesn’t realize he or she has had one too many. The best course of action is not to drive–this board brings the severity of drinking and driving to light.

Emerging Drug Trends

One of the biggest issues for parents, families, and schools is keeping up on the drug trends and vocabulary. This board helps everyone to do this–this is a good board to add to if you are an in-field expert, educator, or member of law enforcement, because the more information that is added to this board, the more help it will continue to be.