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To support the implementation of Project ALERT we periodically send out an e-newsletter that will help keep you up-to-date on project goings on. This is our main mode of communication about any updates made to curriculum materials, research participation opportunities, news about current implementations, and other relevant items of interest. It is distributed electronically, and can be sent to an email that you provide. To subscribe to the newsletter, please send us a message. Or if you do not yet have a Project ALERT account, you can create an account now and indicate that you would like to subscribe.

Fall 2023 Educator

Fall Ushers in Our Biggest Refresh in Over 10 Years!

Welcome back, teachers, administrators, school resource officers, community health leaders, and Young Marines Commanders! We hope your summer breaks included lots of much-needed, well-deserved downtime. For the staff at Project ALERT, we were busy with preparations for fall. Project ALERT launches our biggest refresh of curriculum and resources in over a decade!

  • Updated Curriculum and Teacher Manuals
  • Refined and New Classrooms Materials
  • New Instructional Videos
  • New Tailored Services
  • Redesigned and Updated Website

One of the most compelling features of Project ALERT is high-quality videos showing how teens respond in drug pressure situations. Over the summer, we refreshed all the scenario videos where teens face temptations to use marijuana and vape. The videos offer multiple endings depicting the key refusal skills Project ALERT teaches: simply say no, give a reason, and stand up to pressure.

In addition to the refreshed instructional videos, there is a new mini-movie, titled CHOICES, about a house party caving in on itself when substances start appearing.

The scenario video Pot or Not, shown in Project ALERT Core Lesson 7, and the mini-movie, CHOICES, include the music of Heart’s Barracuda played by a young band (all real musicians hailing from the School of Rock, Venice, in Los Angeles) getting their very first gig at the house party. They rocked!

Through the many years and iterations of Project ALERT, our focus remains: equipping teachers to educate students about the risks and consequences of substance use and highlight the benefits of non-use. The only “special interest groups” we’ve ever associated ourselves with have been teachers and kids; we’ve never taken money from big tobacco, big alcohol, or big pharma. With the completion of this massive update effort, Project ALERT once again solidifies its position as the premier substance use education program for US middle schools.

Let us say once again how grateful we are for our myriad program partners and their invaluable support for over 30 years. Thank you! And may our collective force for good continue!

Updated Curriculum and Resources Live on the Website

The arrival of our redesigned and updated website triggers the retirement of older resources and terminates the use of Google Drive and YouTube Channel. The revised manuals, new videos, updated posters, and other program materials are standing by to help you with a successful implementation!

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Hit us up at projectalert@rand.org and we’ll respond quickly, typically within one business day. (Note that new material will continue to be uploaded over the next several months.)

Join Us for a Study with Paid Teacher Training and Coaching Support!

The RAND Corporation, the nonprofit institution that runs Project ALERT, received funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to test whether the updated Project ALERT curriculum could be even more effective with Getting To Outcomes – an implementation support framework that includes training, tools, and coaching supports found to improve outcomes of programs in over 20 years of research.

RAND is looking to partner with a limited number of school districts. A few details follow:

  • Teachers implementing Project ALERT will receive stipends to participate in the updated training.
  • Project ALERT teachers who receive GTO coaching supports will receive an additional stipend for training and coaching time.
  • The district will receive assistance in sustaining the program when the study ends
  • Participating teachers can receive between $520 and $1,520 each year

To learn more about this rare opportunity to boost efforts to keep youth healthy and drug-free:

  • Send us an email: ProjectAlertGTO@rand.org
Call us toll-free at 1.833.634.1531. We will arrange a follow-up discussion and answer any of your questions. We would love to have you join us, and this is the last school year to sign up!

Latest Trends in Prevalence of Use

Monitoring the Future (MTF) reports the following changes in the use of key substances in the Project ALERT curriculum for 8th graders between 2021 and 2022.

It's encouraging to see a decline of 27% in cigarette use and 18% in alcohol use among 8th graders! There was also a slight downturn in vaping nicotine. However, marijuana use is on the rise again, a 22% increase over the same 2-year period. This trend means that Project ALERT is needed more than ever!

MTF tracks prevalence of use in 8th, 10th, and 12th grades for many commonly used substances. See here for complete information on what's trending.


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