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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.

    In this scenario, each person in the class is a member of the School Board. The board is meeting to discuss the introduction of substance abuse classes into the curriculum. Some members of the board want to have substance abuse classes required in every grade, and some don't. Facilitator is the President of the School Board, and will bring up specific issues for discussion.
Facilitator (as School Board President):
  • Is school the place to be teaching this, or should it be taught in the home or community?
  • If school is the place, what classes should we have?
  • What programs should we have in the school to try to stem alcohol, tobacco, and drug abuse? Zero tolerance? Others?
  • Do the current programs in the schools work? Why or why not?

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