NIDA for Teens: The Science Behind Drug Abuse
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The student will learn the effects of inhalant use on brain-behavior relationships.


Introduce this activity by reminding students that inhalants can slow or stop nerve cell activity in some parts of the brain; for example, the frontal lobes (complex problem solving), cerebellum (movement and coordination), and hippocampus (memory). Students will break into small groups and contribute in a round-robin fashion to a story about a fictional student who uses inhalants. The students should be encouraged to include problems (symptoms) in the description that would be associated with inhalant use, as well as other symptoms that would not. These stories can then be shared (either in oral or written form) with the rest of the class, who will be required to identify the inhalant-related behavioral components and then describe the brain areas that are involved in these behaviors. Students will then search the Internet and other sources to obtain information about the way in which activity in the frontal lobes, cerebellum, and hippocampus influences ehavior, and prepare a report summarizing their findings.