Estimated duration: 60 min. without dissemination

Aims of this module: to  get to know what addiction is; to learn  about different types of addiction; to improve the skills of information research; to familiarize  youngsters with how addiction is portrayed in films or book based films, which can provoke them to discussion and reflection; to boost creativity and group work; to share ideas and reflections on modern world issues.


„Bubble gum”

Duration: 15 min.

Group size: any

Materials: a bubble gum for each participant (it can also be gummy bears or maomam), flip chart, markers

The Facilitator hands out one piece of strong – flavoured gum to each person with the instruction ell to hold the gum close to their nose and mouth but not to put it in their mouth. After a minute, they let them put it on their tongue, but not to chew it. After another minute, the facilitator lets them chew it once or twice, but no more.

After this part, they ask the group:

  • Who is pretending not to chew
  • Who finds it easy not to chew?
  • Who finds it hard not to chew?
  • Who has not chewed the gum? How did you resist chewing it? What did you say to yourself?
  • What was it like? How did it feel to want the gum?
  • How can you relate this game to a situation when a person is addicted?

Next, the facilitator explains that when a person is addicted to a substance or a drug, they crave it and badly want to have it. It’s the same when participants minds convinced them that they really wanted the gum – the minds of people who are addicted to drugs tell them they really want the substance. At the end of the energizer the facilitator presents to the group the definition of addiction:

  • „Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing disorder characterized by compulsive seeking of a substance of addiction, its continued use despite harmful consequences, and long-lasting changes in the brain. It is considered both a complex brain disorder and a mental illness. Addiction is the most severe form of a full spectrum of substance use disorders, and is a medical illness caused by repeated misuse of a substance or substances.” (

At the end of this activity the facilitator asks what kind of addictions the group know and writes them down on the flip chart. They can point out the most typical ones for teenagers: substance – drugs, alcohol, nicotine; sex; electronics (; )

Hints for The Facilitator:


„Get to know the enemy ”

Duration: around 35 min.

Group size: around 30 people

Materials: pens, colorful crayons, paper, computers/smartphones with Internet

The Facilitator divides the group into 5 smaller teams. Each team chooses one topic to work with and their task is to prepare a presentation based on their research for the rest of the group. The presentation can be done as a poster or in a digital form.

Here are the following issues:

  • Nicotine addiction – risk factors, symptoms, consequences, treatment
  • Alcohol addiction – risk factors, symptoms, consequences, withdrawal, treatment
  • Drug addiction – kinds of drugs
  • Drug addiction – risk factors, symptoms, consequences, withdrawal, treatment
  • How the addiction influences brain?

After the teams are ready, one by one presents their work. The facilitator should provide time for people to ask questions or clarify nuances.

Hints for The Facilitator:


„What do you know about addiction?”

Duration: 10 min.

Group size: Any

Materials: Appendix 1 printed out for every participant (or re-made as an interactive quiz), pens, Appendix 2 for facilitator.

After all the activities The Facilitator invites participants to check their knowledge on addiction, presenting them a true or false quiz „What do you know about addiction?” (Appendix 1). The facilitator can give few minutes to answer the questions, and then they check out how participants did it, clarifying and adding some more information when needed (additional part for the facilitator in Appendix 2).

Hints for The Facilitator:

  • You can grant participants who had the most correct answers with some prize.
  • The quiz inspiration: University of Rochester Medical Center


Activity „Get some perspective – a movie evening”

Duration: around 180 min.

Group size: any

Materials: computer, projector, sound system, a chosen film from the following list coming from legal source:

The Facilitator organizes the movie evening and presenting one of the listed above films. After the projection a discussion based on feelings, impressions and participant’s reflection is suggested.

The listed films are often very strong and impactful and many viewers get emotionally involved in the story, that’s why debriefing and „showering off” the difficult feelings can be a good idea. All the mentioned films have been internationally recognized and honored with many film awards.

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