Substance abuse prevention for grades 7 & 8

Easy to Adopt and Proven to Work

The Project ALERT curriculum was created and tested by RAND, the nation’s leading think tank on drug policy. Developed over a ten-year period, Project ALERT addresses the pro-drug mindset of today’s teens and effectively increases their likelihood to remain drug-free.

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Self-paced Training

Introducing Project ALERT to your classroom is easy with our online training program. You control the pace of your training, and we’re always available to answer questions and offer support.

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Convenient Lesson Plans

Your curriculum resources include fourteen easy-to-follow lessons, all available in our convenient eReader or as a download. Each lesson includes implementation hints, reference materials and handouts that you can email directly to your students. 

To access all 14 Project ALERT Lesson Plans, click here


Preview Lesson 1

12 Projectable Classroom Posters

When information is communicated visually, it's easier for many students to absorb. For that reason, 12 projectable posters are included to support the goals of the Project ALERT curriculum. To preview the posters, select an image thumbnail.

View posters here.

Eight Online Interactive Student Videos

Most Project ALERT lesson plans are supported by a short video. Featuring candid interviews with older teens and fictional depictions of common situations, these videos amplify lessons by providing helpful conversation starters or setting up role play activities. 

Full length videos can be accessed from resources.

  • Clearing the air
  • Lindsay's choice
  • Paul's fix
  • Pot or not?
  • Pot: the party crasher
  • Resisting peer pressure
  • Saying "no" to drugs

Electronic Newsletters

The ALERT Educator includes teaching tips, new trends in substance abuse, related research and other useful information.  You can view, share and save the current newsletter right here or you can join our mailing list.

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What's New


In September of 2013, many of you received a letter from the BEST Foundation about changes to the status of Project ALERT. We are pleased to inform you that Project ALERT will soon be returning to The RAND Corporation. As you may recall, Project ALERT was founded and first evaluated for effectiveness by RAND before being transferred to the BEST Foundation in 1991. RAND’s research was the basis for Project ALERT becoming the most widely used substance abuse prevention program of its kind.

Rest assured that very little about Project ALERT will change during the transition of the program from the BEST Foundation to RAND. The high-quality…

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Teen Inhalant Use Decreasing: Government Report

Fewer American teens are abusing inhalants, such as spray paint, glue and gasoline, according to a new government report. The number of teens ages 12 to 17 who used inhalants dropped from 820,000 in 2011, to about 650,000 in 2012. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which released the findings, defines inhalants as “liquids, sprays and gases that people sniff or inhale to get high or to make them feel good,” UPI reports. “This downward trend of inhalant use in adolescents is very encouraging,” Pamela S. Hyde, administrator of the SAMHSA, said in a statement. “Nevertheless, we must all continue our efforts to raise awareness about the dangers and health risks of this deadly and addictive problem among our youth.”

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2013 Drug Use Statistics for 8th Graders

The 2013 NIDA's Monitoring the Future Study reports the following national use patterns for 8th graders. While marijuana use has increased half of a perecent over 2012, smoking, alcohol and inhalant use is down. During the last month:

•4.5% smoked cigarettes

•7.0% used marijuana

•10.2% used alcohol

•2.3% used inhalants


Yes, the numbers are high. But nationally, most young people don't use drugs!

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