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

Resources on our Facebook page

Attention Project ALERT users! We are posting resources, helpful links, and information regularly on our Facebook page. Stay up-to-date by liking our page and following our updates.
A few recent highlights include:
  • Website about the chemicals found in e-cigarettes/vaping from the Orange County (CA) Department of Education
  • Learn about group-based Motivational Interviewing for teens with this online training resource from RAND researchers
  • Facts to share with students about how e-cigarettes work from How Stuff Works 

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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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Project ALERT Has Returned to RAND

We are pleased to inform you that Project ALERT has returned to the RAND Corporation as of July 1, 2014. 

Very little about Project ALERT has changed during the transition of the program from the BEST Foundation to RAND. The high-quality website materials, accessibility of Project ALERT staff, the ALERT Educator e-newsletter, and training modules for Project ALERT will continue to be available without interruption. The online training found on the Project ALERT website (, as well as all training materials on the site will continue to be offered at no charge.

In-person trainings are also available for a fee. Inquire at or at 1-800-ALERT-10.

Questions about training, implementation, and materials will continue to be answered through the Project ALERT hotline at 1-800-ALERT-10 and through our contact form on the website. Our new email is

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