Using the latest research, this fast-paced program explains why the teen years are a critical time for brain development—and why drug use of any kind can derail the brain’s full potential when it comes to critical skills like thinking, remembering, learning and decision making. Viewers learn the anatomy of the brain and visit a state-of-the-art research lab to see clinical proof of the damage that drugs and alcohol cause. Students also learn the basic functions of the brain, the role of dopamine in the brain’s reward pathway and how drugs impact that pathway, leading to addiction.
video, plus teacher’s resource book, student handouts and pre/post tests in digital format
Compelling animation and smoothly rendered graphics, backed with a chill-out sound track, will draw in the target audience for this program about the physiological and behavioral effects of alcohol and drugs on teens. Teen hosts Katie Chung and Max Rein are very articulate. Much of their dialogue is intended to reinforce findings by experts such as Steven Dewey from Brookhaven National Laboratory and Aaron White from the Adolescent Brain Institute at the University of California, San Diego, about addiction and brain research. They are among the experts who provide easy-to-understand explanations detailing how adolescent brain function and development can be impaired by alcohol, ecstasy, and other drugs. Their findings are supported by brain scans, MRIs, and similar diagnostic tools. The information-rich program documents studies that indicate substance abuse in teens causes brain changes that are greater and more difficult to reverse than in people over 20. The simulations of teens getting drunk, high, or trying to function during withdrawal are very realistic as are the interviews with recovering teens. The digital countdown at the end of various segments is a nice touch. While this video won't likely reach those already in the throes of addiction, it will be an extremely good tool for classroom use in health and substance abuse prevention classes.
—John Clark, Hartland Public Library, MEH
School Library Journal
Highly Recommended. Aimed at the young adult viewer, Everything You Need to Know About Drugs and the Teen Brain in 22 Minutes pretty much lives up to its title claims. This brief yet powerful program stresses the impact that drugs and alcohol have on the still developing teen brain. The DVD is divided into chapters that can be accessed separately from the main menu or played as a continuous program—always nice for classroom use. The opening chapters provide a very accessible introduction to neuroanatomy and neurophysiology for young adults (or anyone who is not familiar, for that matter) using animations to illustrate different processes. This sets the stage for the program, and the successful formulaic approach that Human Relations Media has developed is underway. Here you have the two attractive young adult hosts/narrators (Katie Chung and Max Rein), expert researcher testimonies, simple yet effective graphic animations (including a countdown clock that proves they are adhering to the 22 minutes time frame), and upbeat background music—all techniques that keep the program buoyant and on target.
One of the main themes of the video—what drugs do physically to the brain and the resulting behaviors—is stressed in every chapter. The program’s intent is to make an impression on teens, and it succeeds, yet never taking the “scared straight” approach, but presenting the facts in a straightforward way leaving the viewer to make their own decisions about drug use. The research findings are compelling, current and expertly explained. Highly recommended not only for the intended teen audience, but for students in the health sciences who may be working with teens in the health care or social work settings. A 25 page Teacher’s Resource Book in pdf format is also included on the DVD.
— Lori Widzinski, Multimedia Collections and Services, University Libraries, University at Buffalo, State University of New York
Educational Media Reviews Online (EMRO)