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Health: Drug Research Project


10th Grade Health Substance Use/Abuse Project

Due Date: Groups will present the week of December 11th. 

Objective: You and your group (2-3 people) will research your designated substance over the next several weeks. Some time will be allotted in class, and you will also be expected to work on this assignment outside of class. You will be looking at a variety of factors related to the substance including physiological effects and impacts, use among teens, stigma around the substance, history (discovery, legal, social). There is a libguide dedicated to this project and you may also use other resources and it’s your responsibility to determine the reliability and accuracy of resources used outside of the school’s databases. Your group will determine the medium in which to present the information to the class. You can be as creative as you would like. 

Suggested Presentation Mediums:

  • PSA Video 
  • PSA Poster 
  • Informational Poster 
  • Slideshow presentation 
  • Research paper-with findings summarized and presented in class 
  • Song? 
  • Other ideas and suggestions?

Guiding Questions: 

  • What is harm reduction and how does it connect to your substance, what are current harm reduction approaches that are utilized around your substance?
  • How and when was your substance discovered/created? What different iterations has the substance existed in and how do the attitudes towards each differ? (i.e ceremonial tobacco vs. commercial tobacco, nic‚Äč‚Äčotine being derived from the tobacco plant, vaping, nicotine pouches, etc.) 
  • What is the social history of your substance? 
  • What is the legal history of your substance? (i.e was it legal at one time? What was it’s approved or accepted use? What was the reason for the change in legal status?)
  • What are the impacts of the drug/drugs in this category on the brain, body and mental health? 
  • Is there a specific demographic/community/age/race that has been disproportionately impacted by this substance? In what ways? Why has this group been targeted/most impacted?
  • What are attitudes, messages and stigma around this substance and people who use this substance? How does the stigma potentially harm and lead people to avoid treatment or seeking support?
  • How can young people delay/avoid use of this substance?
  • What are rates of use among teens?
  • What attitudes do young people hold around this substance or category of substances?
  • Looking at the way addiction is treated in different countries and harm reduction approaches, what would your group propose as treatments/alternatives to treatment for addiction to your substance?

*Questions in bold must be answered in your research and presentation. Please do your best to answer as many of these as possible. You can focus in on questions that are of interest to your group or areas that are of particular relevance to the substance you are researching.


  • You must cite your sources in APA format
  • You must incorporate the Independent School Health Check (ISHC) findings into your presentation if they are relevant to your substance
  • Clear presentation of the information in a way that shows comprehension and critical thinking on the topic 
  • You will be grading your group mates on their contributions through a google form at the end of the project 
  • I will be looking for thoroughness in your research and critical thinking around the issues of addiction and substance misuse/abuse and the way we approach it in the United States.