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        9-12

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        Contains Adult Language, Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco

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        Decisions and Consequences Lesson Plan | Tragedy & Hope: Stories of Painkiller Addiction

        In this lesson, to be used with the program Tragedy & Hope: Stories of Painkiller Addiction, students will recognize that decisions they make in their lives could help them avoid the consequences of prescription drug abuse. They will also learn how their decisions impact others in their lives.

        Ryan Image

        Ryan became addicted at age 12.

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        Accessibility | Tragedy & Hope

        In this segment of "Tragedy & Hope," students learn that the ease of finding, obtaining, and concealing the abuse of prescription pain pills is part of what makes them so dangerous. This is because by the time the abuse is noticed, a tolerance to them has often built up, and a serious problem with addiction has begun. Without any telltale smell, the use of pills is easier to conceal than alcohol or marijuana. People can get pills through the prescriptions of others, from friends, at house parties, or their own family members. They also may go to different doctors and pharmacies for different prescriptions. This is a problem that exists everywhere, not just in the city or the suburbs.

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        Signs and Symptoms | Tragedy & Hope

        Signs of drug abuse may look like normal young adult behavior. In this clip, from "Tragedy and Hope," we learn the clues that indicate someone may be using drugs.

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        Treatment and Relapse

        In this video segment from Tragedy & Hope, we learn the importance of recognizing a relapse and the types of treatment available. It is important to push someone into treatment even if they are not ready because the ending is much worse when the addiction is given more time. Early relapse can be deadly because the tolerance is gone and the same dose could cause overdose. Detox can take 3-7 days and be followed with outpatient treatment and group therapy. However, because in this situation, people return to their old environment, inpatient treatment may be necessary. These programs last 28 days and teach the difference between the addicted and authentic self. The beginning is the most difficult part and relapse can be part of the recovery process. It is important to keep seeking help.

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        Ryan's Segment | Tragedy & Hope

        In this video segment from "Tragedy & Hope," students learn that the chemicals in opiates are so close to the natural chemicals in our brains that the body stops producing the natural chemicals and begs for the drugs. This is why recovery is so difficult. We meet Ryan who “fell in love” with the feeling of weed and pills by age 12. He then began using Hydrocodone and finally heroin. Ryan became violent, and his parents were forced to press charges and have him incarcerated. Sitting in jail, he reflected on getting high and realized that he was crushing his family. He made the decision that outpatient treatment wasn’t helping and that he needed treatment at an inpatient facility.

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        Avi and Julie's Segment | Tragedy & Hope

        In this video segment from "Tragedy and Hope," we hear the story of Michael, who at age 12 was first prescribed opiates for pain resulting from his Crohn’s Disease. His parents, Avi and Julie, tell of the different medications prescribed by different doctors. They discuss the changes in Michael’s personality, how he finally admitted to having problems with addiction, and that just six months later he took his own life.

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        Colleen Image

        Colleen had to make a lot of the decisions for her addicted son.

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