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Lesson 3: Prescription & Over-the-Counter Drugs: Get the Facts


This lesson focuses on the difference between proper use, misuse and abuse of prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Students brainstorm a list of legal prescription and over-the-counter drugs, and discuss the benefits these medications can provide. They review and practice how to read a label for proper use of both kinds of drugs. Then they discuss how prescription and over-the-counter drugs can be misused and abused, and the reasons people might do this. They work in pairs to read scenarios about teens’ experiences with some prescription or over-the-counter drugs and analyze which are examples of proper use, misuse and abuse.

Note: If time is limited, the assessment activity sheet may be completed individually as homework.

Lesson Objectives

Students will be able to:

  1. Differentiate between proper use, misuse and abuse of prescription and over-the-counter drugs.
  2. Correctly read sample labels for prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

Time: 60 - 75 minutes

Healthy Behavior Outcomes

  • AOD-1: Use prescription and over-the-counter medications correctly.
  • AOD-2: Avoid misuse and abuse of over-the-counter and prescription drugs.

National Health Education Standards

  • Standard 1: Comprehending Concepts
  • Performance Indicator 1.12.1: Predict how healthy behaviors can affect health status.
  • Standard 3: Accessing Resources
  • Performance Indicator 3.12.2: Use resources from home, school, and community that provide valid health information.
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