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Mind Over Matter: The Brain's Response to Drugs. A Teacher's Guide (3 hours) $40.00
Course Format:

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Course Summary

According to the course manual, this course is a teachers guide for the NIDA “Mind
Over Matter” series. The course serves two purposes. The first is to provide an
initial education or a knowledge review about the biological effects of
drug abuse on the body and brain. The second purpose is to provide counselors and
other addiction treatment professionals a curriculum, lesson plans, and supportive
materials for teaching a drug education course designed for clients, family, or the
community. The curriculum and materials are devoted to a specific drug or drug
group; including stimulants, hallucinogens, marijuana, opiates, nicotine, methamphetamine, and steroids.

This curriculum along with available supportive materials describes the effects of
specific drugs on the anatomy and physiology of the brain and the body. These
materials elaborate on the way in which these drug-induced changes affect both
behavior and emotions. The teachers guide contains educational activities that can
be used throughout the curriculum, as well as additional activities for each of the
six drug topics.

Course Goals/objectives

According to the course manual, the goals and objectives of this course are for
the student to:
• Understand the effects of marijuana on the brain structures which control
the five senses, emotions, memory, and judgment;
• Use knowledge of brain-behavior relationships to determine the possible
effects of marijuana on the ability to perform certain tasks and occupations;
• Understand how marijuana interferes with information transfer and short-
term memory;
• Learn more about the important role of the cerebellum;
• Learn the way in which opiates alter the function of nerve cells;
• Learn how opiates produce an analgesic effect;
• Become more familiar with the neuroscience concepts and terminology
associated with the effects of opiates on the brain;
• Learn the effects of inhalant use on brain-behavior relationships;
• Understand the effect of inhalants on brain structure, physiology, and
• Become more familiar with the neuroscience concepts and terminology
associated with the effects of inhalants on the brain and body;
• Learn how hallucinogens cause visual misperceptions and hallucinations;
• Learn that hallucinogens cause other sensory misperceptions;
• Learn vocabulary and facts associated with hallucinogens;
• Understand that steroids have a direct effect on the limbic system which
has a large role in the expression of emotions;
• Learn more about the key neurotransmitters;
• Learn about the performance enhancing effects of steroids, and the medical
• Learn how cocaine affects neurotransmitters;
• Learn the way in which dopamine is related to the sensation of pleasure;
• Learn how stimulants interfere with dopamine re-uptake;
• Learn the effects of cocaine, amphetamines, and caffeine on the brain;
• Learn the effects of nicotine and tobacco products on the brain and body;
• Understand the addictive nature of nicotine;
• Learn the effect of nicotine on the respiratory tract;
• Become familiar with the neuroscience concepts and terminology associated
with the effects of methamphetamine on the brain and body;
• Learn how methamphetamine changes brain functioning;
• Learn the names of the lobes, cortical areas, and structures of the brain;
• Learn the specific brain areas affected by drug use.


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