"What’s Wrong with Methamphetamines?": A Video Review
Why You Should Show This Meth Video
“What’s Wrong with Methamphetamines?” is a video distributed by Discovery Education. Designed for high school students, this video proposes to educate them on the dangers of using the drug. The 24-minute video has nine segments. The segments introduce students to former meth users, teens who speak directly to students in their own language. The young people in the video discuss how they got hooked on the drug, and how the drug influenced their lives. A segment on law enforcement describes how the drug becomes a toxic waste, which has a negative impact on the environment. Students also learn how Methamphetamines influences their bodies, but unlike other videos on the drug, this video is careful to use terms and examples that students can understand. Teens learn from a doctor how the drug changes the brain; they hear testimonials from other teens who give examples of how meth changed them both physically and mentally.
The teens talk about life on the street, loss of innocence, and the struggle to survive. Teens hear what it is like to go days or weeks without a shower, without brushing teeth, and they realize that oftentimes, homeless people lose teeth due to poor nutrition. Why don’t students simply stop using the drug? Viewers realize that not only are users addicted to the drug, they have trouble fitting into society once they have spent time out on the street. It is difficult to return to normal, and live within society’s rules after living in an unstructured environment for a significant amount of time.
Lesson plans, written by Angelique LaCour, which accompany the video, include a pre-test and a posttest. The plans include the lesson’s objectives, a summary of the video, and lesson plans for at least two hour-long class periods. Handouts included in the teacher’s guide prompt students to answer questions related to choosing friends, and setting goals. The packet also contains a student section with a plethora of information regarding meth and its effects on teens and society. High interest stories, related to teens that have used the drug are also included in the teacher’s guide. Use these stories in a non-fiction unit for a high school literature class. Overall, the video and lesson plans would also work well in a social studies or a health class. The video should become a part of teacher resources to educate students about drugs. The only downside is that teachers have to evaluate how the materials may apply to curriculum standards. Applicable standards do not accompany the video.