The New Leaf Curriculum:
The Neuroscience of Addiction
(Currently available for California Public Schools through the California Healthy Kids Resource Center Library)
Whether you are a teacher seeking a new approach to drug education, a youth treatment program counselor, or probation officer at a juvenile detention center, this curriculum brings an entirely different perspective to the consequences of drug abuse and addiction. Using the latest research on how drugs affect the “pleasure center” of the brain, this body of work spans the entire spectrum of drug education from “What is a drug?” to experimentation, and how full blown addiction develops in some and not others. More importantly, it directly engages students in learning the tools to recognize, assess, and prevent addiction for themselves or loved ones. From reconciling whether addiction is a choice or disease, to utilizing the evidence- based “Craving Identification and Management” (CIM) methodology to prevent relapse, the New Leaf Curriculum will fundamentally change the way youth think about drugs.
Our curriculum educates youth (and adults) about the basic neurobiology of addiction: how it develops, why it develops, who is at risk for the disease and what tools to use to prevent it or overcome it. Written for 8th grade and above, you can download a sample chapter here.
Drug Addiction and Natural Disaster: Guide for First Responders
This curriculum was developed in part due to the lessons we learned from Hurricane Katrina; first responders were prepared for many things but identifying and treating the disease of addiction was not one of them. With as much as 20 % of the U.S. population suffering from either physical dependence or addiction to drugs, knowing the principles of Addiction Medicine and how to implement them will save time, money, and lives. This population will present with varying degrees of severity and behavior manifestations, and can be difficult to assess, treat and manage. Just as all medical personnel have a basic understanding of diabetes, so should they have addiction biology and the tools needed to cope with it in an emergency. This training is available through online e-magazine or DVD and covers this topic from A to Z.