Evidence-Based Programs

Strengthening Families 10-14

The Strengthening Families Program: For Parents and Youth (SFP 10-14) resulted from an adaption of the Strengthening Families Program (SFP), originally developed at the University of Utah. Formerly called the Iowa Strengthening Families Program, the long-range goal for the curriculum is reduced substance use and behavior problems during adolescence. Intermediate objectives include improved skills in nurturing and child management by parents, and improved interpersonal and personal competencies among youth. Parents of all educational levels are targeted and printed materials for parents are written at an 8th grade reading level. All parent sessions, two youth, and two family sessions use videotapes portraying pro- social behaviors and are appropriate for multi-ethnic families.

(Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention)

Too Good for Drugs 6-8

Too Good for Drugs 6-8 addresses environmental and developmental risk factors related to alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, through the development of knowledge, skills and attitudes teens need to make healthy decisions and avoid drug use. In Middle School, the students set and reach more complex goals and, in the process, develop and practice strong decision-making skills and effective-communication skills. Students also learn to identify and manage their emotions and the emotions of others so they can better relate to others and associate with positive peer groups. Drug topics are discussed in the context of expectations, peer pressure and influence, and the role of the media.

Too Good for Drugs teaches five essential social and emotional learning skills,which research has linked with healthy development and academic success:

  • Goal Setting
  • Decision Making
  • Bonding with pro-social others
  • Identifying and managing emotions
  • Communicating effectively

(Mendez Foundation, 2013)

Toward No Drug Abuse

Project toward No Drug Abuse (TND) is an interactive program designed to help high school youths (ages 14–19) resist substance use. This school-based program consists of twelve 40- to 50-minute lessons that include motivational activities, social skills training, and decision-making components that are delivered through group discussions, games, role-playing exercises, videos, and student worksheets over a 4-week period.

The program was originally designed for high-risk youth in continuation, or alternative, high schools and consisted of nine lessons developed using a motivation-skills–decision-making model. The instruction to students provides cognitive motivation enhancement activities to not use drugs, detailed information about the social and health consequences of drug use, and correction of cognitive misperceptions. It addresses topics such as active listening skills, effective communication skills, stress management, coping skills, tobacco cessation techniques, and self-control—all to counteract risk factors for drug abuse relevant to older teens. The program can be used in a self-instruction format or run by a health educator.

(Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention)

Project Alert

Project ALERT is a school-based prevention program for middle or junior high school students that focus on alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use. It seeks to prevent adolescent nonusers from experimenting with these drugs, and to prevent youths who are already experimenting from becoming more regular users or abusers. Based on the social influence model of prevention, the program is designed to help motivate young people to avoid using drugs and to teach them the skills they need to understand and resist – social influences. The curriculum is comprised of 11 lessons in the first year and 3 lessons in the second year. Lessons involve small-group activities, question-and-answer sessions, role-playing, and the rehearsal of new skills to stimulate students’ interest and participation. The content focuses on helping students understand the consequences of drug use, recognize the benefits of nonuse, build norms against use, and identify and resist pro-drug pressures.

(National Registry of Evidence Based Programs and Practices)

Stacked Deck

Stacked Deck: A Program to Prevent Problem Gambling is a school-based prevention program that provides information about the myths and realities of gambling and guidance on making good choices, with the objective of modifying attitudes, beliefs, and ultimately gambling behavior. The intervention is provided to students in 9th through 12th grade as part of a regularly scheduled class such as health education or career management. Trained facilitators (teachers, prevention specialists, or health educators) use a facilitator’s guide to administer five 50- to 90- minute interactive lessons over a period of 2 to 3 weeks.

Lessons cover the history and realities of gambling (e.g., the “house edge”), risk factors for and signs of problem gambling, fallacies about gambling, calculated risk and the assessment of situations involving risk, and barriers to good decision-making and problem solving. An optional booster session to consolidate previous learning can be administered 1 month after the completion of the fifth lesson.

(National Registry of Evidence Based Programs and Practices)