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Out Of Balance

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TOPIC: Drugs & Addictions

CONCEPT: There are many facets to each person's life. We are interested and involved in many different things that make us each a unique person. When we are well rounded, we have a number of different areas of interest, hobbies and things we like to do. This is called leading a balanced life. When a person starts to use drugs, it can turn into an all-consuming activity. Other things that were important now seem to take a back seat. A person's drug use takes over and begins to control and dominate their life.

GRADE LEVEL: Middle School

Method: Class room activity
Time Frame: 30 minutes plus "Discussion"
Material: Magazines with lots of photographs, scissors, glue, construction paper, white paper, one coat hanger for each person, string, drawing materials, cardboard.

ACTIVITY: Have each student look through magazines and cut out pictures of activities that they like to participate in. Don't just think of sports, but include eating, reading, hobbies, etc. They can also include places they would like to visit. Have them leave room around the picture when they cut it out so they can make a final cut later. Now have them glue the picture on a piece of construction paper and make the final cut. This will make the edge of the picture and the construction paper even. After they have done this, have them attach strings to the pictures and make a mobile out of it. To do this, they will tie the strings to the bottom part of the coat hanger. When finished, all of their pictures will be hanging from the bottom of the coat hanger. To help balance the mobile, they can move the photos back and forth along the bottom of the coat hanger.

Now have them draw a poster, somewhat larger than their photos, showing some kind of drug. This should be drawn on white paper and glued to the cardboard. Tie this drug poster to one end of the coat hanger. The poster should be heavy enough so that it tilts the entire mobile towards the drug picture. After the discussion time, they can remove the drug poster from their mobile. Have them draw an "X" through the drug poster and ask them to mount it on the wall next to where they hang their mobile.

DISCUSSION: Facilitate a discussion utilizing the following questions. Help the students realize the impact of using drugs on their lives and that when someone continues to use they often are not interested in anything that was important to them before they started using.

Discussion ideas:

  • List the types of activities that you chose for your mobile. Why did you choose these activities?

  • List the types of places that you chose for your mobile. Why did you choose these places?

  • What do we mean by living a balanced life?

  • What happens when we stop living a balanced life?

  • How can drugs create an unbalanced life?

  • Describe some of the things that we stop doing when drugs take over our life?

  • What might be some of the first things to go out of our life when drugs come in?

  • How can we return to a balanced life after we start using drugs?

  • Who or what types of people can help us return to a balanced life?

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