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TOPIC: Drugs & Alcohol

CONCEPT: When a person uses any kind of a drug, it has an effect on the body. When alcohol or another depressant-type drug is used, the body will react by slowing down its functions. When these functions are impaired in such a manner, it becomes more difficult for a person to complete certain tasks. This is especially true for tasks which require manual dexterity.

GRADE LEVEL: Middle School

Method: Small group activity
Time Frame: 15 minutes plus "Discussion"
Material: 1 pair of gloves for each team of five, 2 chocolate Hershey Kisses for each person (plus a few extras), and a watch with a second hand.

ACTIVITY: Divide your group into teams of five. This will be a relay race, so if your group doesn't have equal teams, have one person on each team without five members go twice. Line the teams up behind a starting line. Place five Hershey Kisses on a chair, a table or the floor, fifteen feet or so in front of the starting line. All the teams will start at the same time. The object is for each person to walk up to the kisses, unwrap one of them and eat it. They must have it completely gone from their mouth before they leave and return to their team. When they return, the next person leaves the starting line. You will need to time each team, record how much time it takes each team to accomplish this task.

Now for the second round, repeat the same activity except for the fact that each person must wear a pair of gloves, which they put on the wrong hand backwards, when they are unwrapping the Hershey Kiss. Have them put the gloves on before they leave the starting line. Once again record the amount of time it takes for each team to accomplish this task. Record the scores and compare how quickly each team accomplished the task in the second round as opposed to how quickly they finished it in the first round.

What if someone doesn't like Hershey Kisses? For their turn, have them pair up with someone else on their team. They will both go up to the place with the kisses. The person whose turn it is will unwrap the kiss and then their partner will eat it for them.

DISCUSSION: After the demonstration facilitate a discussion utilizing the following questions. Be sure to emphasize that although a person may not think they are impaired after using alcohol or other drugs their ability to perform routine tasks are impacted.

Discussion ideas:

  • How difficult was it to unwrap the kiss without the gloves on?

  • How difficult was it to unwrap the kiss with the gloves on?

  • In what way did the gloves make the task harder?

  • Did some people find it harder than others to unwrap the candy kiss?

  • How can this activity be compared to the use of alcohol and other drugs?

  • What activities would be harder for you to accomplish in your daily life if you were impaired on the job?

  • Are some people affected by drugs to a greater degree than others? Why or why not?

  • Even if you don't use drugs, how can their use by others affect your life?

  • If you noticed someone at your school impaired by drugs, what would you do? What would be the results of your actions?

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