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Utilizing the following role-play scenario is an effective strategy for getting students to actively participate in a meaningful dialogue about substance abuse and addiction.

A teacher or student can serve as facilitator for these activities. The facilitator should set up the scenarios for the role-play and select students to take the parts outlined in the script. Different students should take parts in each scene. This gives the students in the classroom an opportunity to "experience" the issues first hand. Once the scene has been played out, the facilitator should discuss the outcome with the class and see if others might have played out the scene in a different way. When participating in role-play, each player's goal should be clear to him/her. The desired goal may arise from discussion prior to the activity, or be assigned by the facilitator.

Scene One

    Joe/Josie, Friend.
    Joe/Josie is the cutest guy/girl in the junior class. He/she is class president, a basketball star, and runs track in the spring. Joe/Josie is also a good student. Everybody in the school would die to hang out with him/her.

    Joe/Josie is at a party. He/She has been really overdoing it all night. In fact, he/she is stoned, drunk, and getting a bit unruly and loud. Now he/she is getting ready to drive home.
Joe/Josie: (Really drunk) "Ready to go home?"

Friend: "Yeh, I'm ready to go home, but I don't think you should be driving."

Joe/Josie: (Angry and unruly, and determined to drive home.) "What do you mean I shouldn't drive? I'm fine. I've driven in worse shape than this."

Friend: (Try to reason with Joe/Josie. Your objective is to stop Joe/Josie from driving.)

Continue to role-play the scene.

Facilitator When the scene has played out, lead the class in a discussion about how Friend handled the situation.

  • What would the rest of you do?
  • Would you call your parents if you didn't think that anyone should be driving?
  • Would you try to find the soberest driver, or a cab?
  • If you are going to get another ride home, will you do anything to make sure Joe/Josie gets home?
Scene Two

    Friend, Parent.
    When you get home, your dad/mom is waiting up. You decide to tell him/her about Joe/Josie's drinking.
Parent: "How come you came home in a cab? What happened?"

Friend: (Explain what happened at the party.)

Parent: "I know his/her mother would want to know about this. I'm going to call her in the morning."

Friend: (What do you say to this?)

Continue to role-play the scene.

Facilitator: When the scene has played out, lead the class in a discussion about how Friend handled the situation.

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