Adolescents are bombarded with messages that glamorize drugs and alcohol and disguise the real-world consequences that can change a teen's life forever. That's why every student needs the tools to make healthy decisions about substance use.
Project ALERT is a free, easy to use substance use prevention program that can be delivered during any course during school hours or in programs outside of school time, and can be delivered by any adult. The curriculum is series of lessons that uses the power of practice and repetition to give students the self-efficacy, skills, and resources to resist peer pressure and misleading messaging to use substances.
The goals of Project ALERT are explicit:
- To prevent adolescents from beginning to use substances
- To prevent those who have already experimented from becoming regular users
- To prevent or curb risk factors for substance use
Project ALERT is an evidence-based curriculum, meaning statistics and long-term survey research define Project ALERT’s success. Unlike most other programs, Project ALERT has been and continues to be thoroughly tested in multi-year, multi-community studies. This scientific validation means that administrators and teachers know what the program can deliver, who it can impact, and the effort involved in making its results last. Project ALERT is proven to motivate students against drug use, provide skills and strategies to resist drugs, and establish new non-use attitudes and beliefs.
Project ALERT is designed to be delivered over two years. In the first year, typically 7th grade, students receive the initial 11 Lessons, or Core Curriculum. In the second year students receive three Booster Lessons that are critical for maintaining early prevention gains. Each lesson takes about a class period but can be adapted to fit into shorter instructional blocks like Advisory and Homeroom. Both the Core Curriculum and Booster Lessons offer a variety of activities and instructional materials (e.g., Project ALERT videos and posters).