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        6-12

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        Contains Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco

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        The Cycle of Addiction Lesson | Tragedy & Hope: Stories of Painkiller Addiction

        In this lesson, to be used with the program Tragedy & Hope: Stories of Painkiller Addiction, students learn about the cycle of addiction that happens with drugs, how friends and family can influence their decisions about drugs, and how to spot the signs that someone may be using drugs. They also explore the science behind addiction, including how genetics and the process of brain development in young people may make them more vulnerable to addiction.

        Ian's Segment | Tragedy & Hope

        In this video segment from "Tragedy & Hope," we meet Ian, who began using Lortabs at age 15. He would rob, lie, and steal to get drugs. His parents had no idea until he told them. They had assumed Ian was just a normal teen, until his behavior and social situation changed. Then, Ian assaulted his father and started getting sick. After several detox attempts, doctors decided on inpatient treatment for Ian. But he decided to use heroin one more time before going in and his parents found him unconscious. Ian's parents urge other parents not to look the other way and assume this behavior will change once the person matures.

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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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        Michael Image | Tragedy & Hope

        Because of prescription drugs, Michael lost control of his feelings and his addiction.

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        Brandie's Segment | Tragedy & Hope

        In this video segment from "Tragedy & Hope," we learn about the effect relapsing in prescription drug addiction can have in an individual’s life. Brandie began using alcohol and Lortabs at age 17. When she became pregnant at age 20, she remained clean. However, after giving birth, she was again prescribed Lortabs and the addiction returned. Brandie was soon spending her whole paycheck on pills. When Brandie gave birth to a second daughter, the baby was born addicted and had to go through withdrawal. Brandie explains that she was confronted by her older child, and sought treatment again, but notes that it takes a lot of effort to stay clean.

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        Colleen's Segment | Tragedy & Hope

        In this video segment from "Tragedy & Hope," we learn how other medical problems can lead to addiction. By age 12, Christopher had undergone seven brain surgeries for another condition. By sophomore year, he was abusing cough syrup (DXM). Then various psychological issues began, and each one brought a new prescription. These prescription drugs lead Christopher to the abuse of heroin, and then, trouble with the law. Colleen intervened, and insisted on inpatient treatment. She stresses the importance of early intervention.

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        The Science of Addiction | Tragedy & Hope

        Addiction is a disease of the brain, as students will learn from this segment of "Tragedy & Hope: Stories of Painkiller Addiction." Opiates relieve physical pain but are sometimes misused for emotional pain. Stimulants produce a carefree, elevated experience. These drugs reprogram the brain and when a person comes down from them, they are very depressed. Some addiction-prone people may feel a need for the drug much like hunger tells us to eat and thirst tells us to drink. Those with a family history of addiction are born with a genetic predisposition to addiction. Additionally, because the brain is still developing until approximately age 25, individuals who begin to use drugs while they are young are more likely to develop an addiction.

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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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