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Teacher’s Guide

Lesson 5—Elaborate/Evaluate

Drug Addiction Is a Disease—So What Do We Do about It? (Page 2 of 2)

In Advance

Web-Based Activities
Activity Web Component?
1 No
2 Yes
3 No
4 No
5 No

Photocopies
For each group of 3 students For each student
1 copy of Master 5.1, Ruth’s Story*

1 copy of Master 5.2, Mike’s Story*

1 copy of Master 5.3, Carol’s Story*

1 copy of Master 5.4, Disease Reference Information*
1 copy of Master 5.5, Evaluating the Cases
*The Web version of Activity 2 is the preferred approach. Copies of Masters 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, and 5.4 are needed only if the Internet is unavailable for classroom use.

Materials
Activity Materials
1 overhead projector
2 computers (optional)
3 overhead projector
4 none

Preparation

Arrange for students to have access to computers for viewing the case studies in Activity 2.

Procedure

Activity 1: Is Addiction Treatable?

Assessment icon
Assessment:
This activity is intended to be a quick method to assess students’ prior conceptions about treating drug addiction as a disease.
  1. Begin the activity by holding a classroom discussion about illness and disease. Ask, “What is a disease?” Ask students to name some diseases. Write responses on the board.

Students are likely to say a disease is some problem with the body that makes a person feel bad. They may also respond that a disease is something you see a doctor about or take medicine for. Students will list a variety of diseases and conditions. If they don’t include both short-term minor diseases (such as a cold or flu) and long-term complex diseases (such as diabetes or heart disease), prompt them with questions such as, Is a cold a disease? Is diabetes?

  1. Introduce the terms chronic and acute and give examples of chronic and acute conditions. Categorize the diseases from Step 1 as either chronic or acute.

Chronic diseases are those that persist over a long period of time, whereas acute diseases last only a short time but may have a rapid onset and marked intensity. Diabetes, heart disease, asthma, and cancer are examples of chronic diseases. Colds, flu, and a broken bone are acute conditions.

  1. Ask students to consider whether addiction is chronic or acute. Have them explain their answer based on what they have learned in the unit so far. After students recognize that addiction is a chronic disease, add it to the list of chronic diseases.

Students’ explanations should include something about the changes that occur in the brain as a result of drug use (Lessons 2, 3, and 4) and something about the compulsive, nonvoluntary nature of addiction.

  1. Ask, “Do all diseases or illnesses affect people the same way?”

No. Some are longer lasting and require more intervention from healthcare providers than others. Some require medicines, others require psychological treatment, and some require both. Students may give a cold as an example of a short-term illness that doesn’t require a great deal of treatment and diabetes or heart disease as a longer-lasting illness that does require a lot of treatment. Students should realize that there are similarities as well as differences in disease treatment.

  1. Hold a class discussion to find out what students know about treatments for addiction. Probe student understanding of what a person experiences in treatment, what types of treatments are available, how long treatment lasts, and whether it is successful. Have students justify their ideas. Accept all reasonable answers, and record ideas on the board or a blank transparency

At this stage, students are likely to have many ideas about treatment for addiction. Some of their ideas will likely be drawn from stories they have seen on the Internet or from media coverage of celebrities. Their ideas may also reflect societal perceptions of addiction and may not include explanations based on the biology of addiction.

Note to Teachers: Save the list that students generate. They will revisit it in Activity 3.

  1. Explain that in the next activity, students will learn about treatment for addiction and how it compares with treatment for other chronic diseases.

Activity 2: Evaluating the Case Studies

Web activity icon

The following procedures describe how to conduct the Web version of this activity, which is the preferred method of instruction. Instructions for conducting the alternative print version follow.

National Science Education Standards icon
Content Standard F:
An individual’s mood and behavior may be modified by substances.

Content Standard F:
Personal choice concerning fitness and health involves multiple factors.

Content Standard F:
Families serve basic health needs, especially for young children.
  1. Divide the class into groups of three students. Give each student a copy of Master 5.5, Evaluating the Cases. Have the students complete the Web activity Dealing with a Chronic Disease. Each member of the group should answer questions 1–6 for a different case study. After they watch the three cases, the group should answer questions 7–11.

From the activities menu on the Web site, select Lesson 5—Drug Addiction Is a Disease, So What Do We Do about It? Then click to watch the video interviews.

  1. As a class, discuss the case studies and the answers to Master 5.5.

Sample Answers to Questions on Master 5.5

Case Study: Ruth

Question 1. What disease does the individual have? Is it chronic or acute?

Ruth is addicted to heroin. Addiction is a chronic disease.

Question 2. How did the disease change the individual’s life?

Ruth, like other drug-addicted people, was spending most of her energy focusing on how and where she was going to get her next drugs. She became isolated from her friends, lost her job, and got into trouble with the law.

Question 3. What is the recommended treatment?

The prescribed treatment for Ruth is a combination of medication (methadone or buprenorphine) and behavioral treatment.

Question 4. What did the individual do to improve his or her recovery?

Ruth followed her doctor’s advice and got medicine and psychological treatment to help her deal with the problems of addiction. She also worked to change her life by enrolling in college, making new friends, and getting involved in running. After a recurrence of her drug problem, she again started her medical and psychological treatment.

Question 5. What did the individual do that impaired his or her recovery?

Ruth thought she had conquered her disease and didn’t need to continue her treatment. Her life became very stressful, and she went back to the friends who started her on drugs in the first place.

Question 6. Are there other things the individual could do to help with the disease?

As long as Ruth continues her treatment plan, she should be able to manage her disease. If she ignores her treatment, her chance of having a recurrence increases.

Case Study: Mike

Question 1. What disease does the individual have? Is it chronic or acute?

Mike has diabetes, a chronic disease.

Question 2. How did the disease change the individual’s life?

After being diagnosed with diabetes, Mike had to check his blood glucose levels regularly, give himself insulin injections, and watch his diet.

Question 3. What is the recommended treatment?

Mike’s doctors placed him on insulin therapy. The doctors also prescribed behavioral treatments.

Question 4. What did the individual do to improve his or her recovery?

To help learn about diabetes, Mike attended a camp where he received information about coping with the disease. After some problems, Mike learned to control his blood sugar levels.

Question 5. What did the individual do that impaired his or her recovery?

Mike had trouble in social situations because he couldn’t do the same things his friends did. When he ignored his treatment, Mike had trouble in school and ended up in the hospital.

Question 6. Are there other things the individual could do to help with the disease?

Mike needs to continue to follow his treatment plan and monitor his blood glucose level.

Case Study: Carol

Question 1. What disease does the individual have? Is it chronic or acute?

Carol has hypertension. Hypertension is a chronic disease.

Question 2. How did the disease change the individual’s life?

Because of the disease, Carol had problems at work as well as with her family interactions. Her health problems became more severe, and she had a mild stroke.

Question 3. What is the recommended treatment?

Initially, the doctor prescribed medication as well as a change in Carol’s diet to reduce her salt intake. The doctor also told Carol that exercise would be beneficial.

After Carol had problems following the plan, the doctor recommended that Carol get additional help from other health professionals.

Question 4. What did the individual do to improve his or her recovery?

Carol followed the treatment plan for a while.

Question 5. What did the individual do that impaired his or her recovery?

Carol didn’t follow her doctor’s advice after the initial period and then ignored her doctor’s suggestion that she get additional help from other specialists.

Question 6. Are there other things the individual could do to help with the disease?

Carol needs to fit her treatment into her life.

Comparing the Cases

Question 7. Which individuals were successful in their treatment? Which individuals were not?

Ruth and Mike were both successful in their treatment. Although they had problems, both of them decided to again comply with their treatment. Carol was not successful; she did not follow the recommended treatment.

Question 8. Who was cured of their disease? What is the difference between treatment and cure?

None of the individuals was cured of his or her disease. Treatment eliminates or reduces the effects of the disease, but does not eliminate the disease. If a disease is cured, the problem is fixed and requires no additional treatment.

Question 9. How are the treatments for the different diseases similar?

In each case, the prescribed treatment included both medication and behavioral treatments. In each case, treatment is a long-term process.

Question 10. How are the treatments different?

Different medications are used to treat different diseases.

Question 11. Can you identify similarities and differences in the actions or strategies that individuals took to help them deal with their disease?

All three individuals initially complied with the prescribed treatment. All three individuals experienced a time when they ignored the treatment plan and had reoccurring problems with the disease. Ruth and Mike chose to get additional treatment and learned to cope with their disease. Carol, on the other hand, made the choice to continue to ignore the treatment plan and her doctor’s advice.

print activity iconThe following procedure is for classes using the print version of this activity.

  1. Break the class into groups of three students. Give one copy of each of the following masters to each group: Master 5.1, Ruth’s Story; Master 5.2, Mike’s Story; Master 5.3, Carol’s Story; and Master 5.4, Disease Reference Information. Each student in the group should read a different case. Give each student a copy of Master 5.5, Evaluating the Cases. Each student should answer questions 1–6 about the case study that he or she read. The students should answer questions 7–11 as a group. Give students time to discuss and write answers to the questions. They may refer to the case studies for help.
  2. After all the groups have finished the questions, discuss the cases with the class.

Sample answers for the questions on Master 5.5 are given in the procedures for the Web-based version of this activity.

Activity 3: Is Treatment for Addiction Effective?

National Science Education Standards icon
Content Standard A:
Formulate and revise scientific explanations and models using logic and evidence.

Assessment icon
Assessment:
Now that students have evaluated the case studies, they should understand that addiction is a disease that is treated as effectively as, or more effectively than, other chronic diseases.
  1. Display students’ ideas on addiction treatment from Activity 1, Step 5. Ask whether they now see these ideas as correct or incorrect based on what they learned from the case studies. Have students revise any incorrect statements and explain their changes.

Students should be able to use pieces of information to correct some common misconceptions that are probably on their list. For example, one misconception is that treatment for addiction doesn’t work and that once a person is addicted to drugs, there isn’t anything that can be done for them. From the case studies, students should recognize that treatment can be successful, and people can improve their lives if they follow the treatment plan, which could include behavioral therapies and medications. (Medications are available to treat addiction to some drugs (for example, opiates, nicotine, alcohol), but not others.)

If appropriate for the specific drug addiction, treatment that includes both behavioral therapy and medication is often more successful than treatment that uses only one approach. Students should recognize that the combination of behavioral therapy and medication helped the individual portrayed in the case study.

Treatment is most effective when adjusted for the individual’s needs and circumstances. The ultimate goal of drug addiction treatment is to enable an individual to achieve long-lasting abstinence, but the immediate goals are to reduce drug abuse, improve the patient’s ability to function, and minimize the medical and social complications of drug abuse and addiction.

Some initial ideas about drug addiction treatment may reflect the idea that simply stopping drug use means that treatment is effective. Students should realize after reading the case studies that drug addiction and other chronic diseases can have wide-ranging effects on a person, both physically and emotionally. Thus, addressing the person’s complex needs is imperative. For addiction, this may include helping with family problems, employment, legal concerns, and other co-occuring medical conditions. Reinforce to students that behavioral therapy, along with other services, can help individuals cope with the problems that can trigger a relapse. Just as treatment for diabetes or heart disease requires that people change their behaviors to adopt a healthier lifestyle, so does successful treatment for drug addiction.

  1. Point out that the individual in the case study experienced relapse at one point. She started using drugs again after stopping for a while. Ask students if relapse means that treatment is not effective.

Relapse is common during recovery from drug addiction, as it is for other chronic diseases depicted in the case studies. If someone relapses, that does not mean that treatment failed. Rather, relapse signals that the person needs to go back to treatment or that the person’s treatment plan needs to be modified to better fit the individual’s needs.

Some students will suggest that relapse occurs because patients don’t always comply with their treatment. This is correct. Treatment is more effective when the patient participates actively in the process. It’s important for students to understand this. After all, therapies will not be effective if the patient chooses not to take the medicine or attend the counseling sessions.

  1. Have students consider the problems of following a treatment plan. Ask them if they have ever made New Year’s resolutions. How long did they keep the resolution and why did they break it?

Each individual in the case studies experienced a relapse. The difficulties in making significant changes in lifestyle and behavior may be somewhat difficult for students to understand because they haven’t had to experience this personally during their young lives. One of the hardest things humans do is change their behaviors. This is as true for adhering to a treatment plan for a disease as it is for adhering to a plan for other types of behavior changes.

Activity 4: Addiction Is a Brain Disease

Assessment icon
Assessment:
This activity asks students to integrate the information they have learned in all of the lessons. Review their papers to evaluate their understanding.
  1. Read the following scenario to the class:

    Robert has been arrested several times for drug possession. After the first arrest, he was given probation. After the second and third arrests, he was sentenced to jail for one year each time. The police arrested him a fourth time, but instead of having Robert serve more time in jail, the judge ordered him to enter a drug treatment program.
  1. Ask students to write a paper that provides scientific information that would support the judge’s decision to have Robert undergo drug treatment instead of going to jail. Instruct the students to incorporate information they have learned from Lessons 1–5 to support their position.

Students may benefit from reviewing their work from all of the lessons. The crux of the paper should be that drug addiction is a brain disease and drugs cause long-term changes in the function of the brain.


Web activity icon Lesson 5 Organizer: Web Version
Activity 1: Is Addiction Treatable?
What the Teacher Does Procedure Reference

Begin with a discussion on illness and disease. Ask, “What is a disease?” Have students name some diseases. Write responses on the board.

Step 1

Introduce the terms chronic and acute, and give examples of chronic and acute conditions. Categorize the diseases from Step 1 as either chronic or acute.

Step 2

Ask students to consider and explain whether addiction is chronic or acute. Add addiction to the list of chronic diseases.

Step 3

Ask, “Do all diseases or illnesses affect people in the same way?”

Step 4

Hold a class discussion to uncover student knowledge about addiction treatment. Probe understanding of what treatment involves, what a person experiences, how long treatment lasts, and whether it is successful. Have students justify their ideas. Record responses and save for use in Activity 3.

Step 5

Explain that the next activity will detail treatment for addiction and examine how it compares with treatment for other chronic diseases.

Step 6
Activity 2: Evaluating the Case Studies
What the Teacher Does Procedure Reference

Divide the class into groups of three students. Give each student a copy of Master 5.5. Have students complete the activity Dealing with a Chronic Disease on the Internet. To access the Internet segment, click on Lesson 5—Drug Addiction Is a Disease, So What Do We Do about It? on the activities menu. Each team member should answer questions 1–6 for a different case study. Team members should work together to answer questions 7–11.

master iconStep 1

Web activity icon

As a class, discuss the case studies and answers to the questions on Master 5.5.

Step 2
Activity 3: Is Treatment for Drug Addiction Effective?
What the Teacher Does Procedure Reference

Display students’ ideas on addiction treatment from Activity 1, Step 5. Do they now see these ideas as correct or incorrect? Have students revise any incorrect statements and explain their changes.

Step 1

The individual in the case study experienced relapse at one point. She started using drugs again after stopping for a while. Ask students if relapse means that treatment is not effective.

Step 2

Have students consider the problems of following a treatment plan. Have they ever made New Year’s resolutions? How long did they keep the resolution and why did they break it?

Step 3
Activity 4: Addiction Is a Brain Disease
What the Teacher Does Procedure Reference

Read the following scenario to the class:

  • Robert has been arrested several times for drug possession. After the first arrest, he was given probation. After the second and third arrests, he was sentenced to jail for one year each time. The police arrested him a fourth time, but instead of having Robert serve more time in jail, the judge ordered him to enter a drug treatment program.
Step 1

Ask students to write a paper that provides scientific information that would support the judge’s decision to have Robert undergo drug treatment. Instruct students to incorporate information they have learned from Lessons 1–5 to support their position.

Step 2
Web activity icon= Involves using the Internet.
master icon= Involves copying a master.

print activity icon Lesson 5 Organizer: Print Version
Activity 1: Is Addiction Treatable?
What the Teacher Does Procedure Reference

Begin with a discussion on illness and disease. Ask, “What is a disease?” Have students name some diseases. Write responses on the board.

Step 1

Introduce the terms chronic and acute, and give examples of chronic and acute conditions. Categorize the diseases from Step 1 as either chronic or acute.

Step 2

Ask students to consider and explain whether addiction is chronic or acute. Add addiction to the list of chronic diseases.

Step 3

Ask, “Do all diseases or illnesses affect people in the same way?”

Step 4

Hold a class discussion to uncover student knowledge about addiction treatment. Probe understanding of what treatment involves, what a person experiences, how long treatment lasts, and whether it is successful. Have students justify their ideas. Record responses and save for use in Activity 3.

Step 5

Explain that the next activity will detail treatment for addiction and examine how it compares with treatment for other chronic diseases.

Step 6
Activity 2: Evaluating the Case Studies
What the Teacher Does Procedure Reference

Divide the class into groups of three students. Give one copy of each of the following masters to each group: Masters 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, and 5.4. Each student in the group should read a different case. Give each student a copy of Master 5.5, Evaluating the Cases. Each team member should answer questions 1–6 for a different case study. Team members should work together to answer questions 7–11.

master iconStep 1

As a class, discuss the case studies and answers to the questions on Master 5.5.

Step 2
Activity 3: Is Treatment for Drug Addiction Effective?
What the Teacher Does Procedure Reference

Display students’ ideas on addiction treatment from Activity 1, Step 5. Do students now see these ideas as correct or incorrect? Have students revise any incorrect statements and explain their changes.

Step 1

The individual in the case study experienced relapse at one point. She started using drugs again after stopping for a while. Ask students if relapse means that treatment is not effective.

Step 2

Have students consider the problems of following a treatment plan. Have they ever made New Year’s resolutions? How long did they keep the resolution and why did they break it?

Step 3
Activity 4: Addiction Is a Brain Disease
What the Teacher Does Procedure Reference

Read the following scenario to the class:

  • Robert has been arrested several times for drug possession. After the first arrest, he was given probation. After the second and third arrests, he was sentenced to jail for one year each time. The police arrested him a fourth time, but instead of having Robert serve more time in jail, the judge ordered him to enter a drug treatment program.
Step 1

Ask students to write a paper that provides scientific information that would support the judge’s decision to have Robert undergo drug treatment. Instruct students to incorporate information they have learned from Lessons 1–5 to support their position.

Step 2
master icon= Involves copying a master.

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