Read about teens who are fighting to raise awareness about counterfeit pills; identify dangers associated with counterfeit pills.


NHES 3: Demonstrate the ability to access valid information, products, and services to enhance health.


CASEL: Responsible decision-making






Lesson Plan: We’re Fighting Fake Pills

Counterfeit prescription drugs are killing teens at a shocking rate—but the students on these pages are fighting back and helping save lives.

1. Preparing to Read

Before you read the article “We’re Fighting Fake Pills” ask your students the following pre-reading question:

What are counterfeit drugs, and what risks do they pose to teens?

2. Reading and Discussing

  • Have your students read the article “We’re Fighting Fake Pills” independently; read the article out loud to them; or have students partner-read the article out loud.
  • After they’ve read the article, revisit the pre-reading question. Have their answers changed? 
  • Next, have your students answer the Close-Reading and Critical-Thinking questions, either working in small groups or independently. 

Close-Reading Questions
The following questions can be shared in printable or interactive form from the Resources tab. 

  1. What drug do some fake pills contain, and what makes this drug dangerous? 
  2. Why do dealers use fentanyl in pills?

Critical-Thinking Questions

  1. Why do you think dealers often use social media to sell fake pills?
  2. How would you respond if a friend offered to share prescription painkillers with you? Why?

3. Building Comprehension and Vocab

Check students’ comprehension of and engagement with the story with the following assessment tools:

  • Quiz

  • Vocab Builder

4. Expanding SEL Opportunities

Continue the learning journey with the following extension activity:

Give your students the chance to spread FAKE PILL AWARENESS by choosing 3-5 facts or tips of their choice from the article and making a video to share on TikTok or Instagram.

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