Tragedy and Hope: Stories of Painkiller Addiction Educator Resources

In the last ten years, addiction to painkiller medications and prescriptions has increased 400% and taken hold in our communities. Every 19 minutes in our country, we lose a person to opiate addiction, which is no different than taking heroin.

WNED-TV’s production, Tragedy & Hope Stories of Painkiller Addiction, shares the experiences of young people from Western New York who are struggling with addiction recovery. Most of the young people are making progress towards wellness and they discuss their long term fight for recovery; others have not been as fortunate. By utilizing their personal stories backed by addiction treatment specialists, researchers and parent insights, the hope is to raise awareness and advocacy for this serious epidemic in our community. Prescription painkiller addiction has no gender, race, or social status symbolism; it can affect anyone, at any age.

Thank you for taking time to learn about this project and be willing to use these resources to make a difference in the lives of our youth. Our hope is that these materials bring awareness to this topic and offer resources for those who may find themselves caught between prescription painkiller addiction and a path to wellness. An essential part of combating this recent epidemic is awareness and education. The earlier children learn of the dangers of this kind of addiction the better.

The resources are intended to supplement the program. They are designed for a range of audiences including middle through high school students and those who come in contact with young people. The lessons and activities were created with the intent of showing all or some of the accompanying program Tragedy and Hope Stories of Painkiller Addiction. Although each set of materials has been designated for a specific audience, they were created with the understanding that they may be adapted as needed. Educators in grades 6-12 are encouraged to adopt them as they are presented in this guide, but they can be easily integrated as segments that may compliment their current subject matter content, levels of complexity, and curriculum.


     Myth or Fact (grades 6-12)   (whole lesson PDF)
Learning about Opioids (grades 6-12)   (whole lesson PDF)
The Cycle of Addiction (grades 9-12)   (whole lesson PDF)
Contemplating Nature vs. Nurture (grades 6-12)   (whole lesson PDF)
Prescription Drug Abuse Awareness Campaign (grades 9-12)   (whole lesson PDF)
The Brain on Autopilot (grades 9-12)   (whole lesson PDF)
Decisions and Consequences (grades 9-12)   (whole lesson PDF)
Download the entire Educator's Guide Commitment to Recovery (grades 9-12)   (whole lesson PDF)


Use these resources on PBS LearningMedia

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