Substance abuse prevention for grades 7 & 8

Easy to Adopt and Proven to Work

The Project ALERT curriculum was created and tested by the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research organization. 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.

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.

The online training was designed to be completed in about 5 to 6 hours, but will vary by user. You must do all 11 core and 3 booster lessons to receive your certificate. It will be emailed to you within 24 hours of completion

Login to access Online Training!

Preview Module

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

Hard copies of materials are no longer available. Everything is freely available at the link above.  

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.

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


Project ALERT classroom videos are now available for streaming and download on via iTunes Podcast.

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

New Supplement on Heroin and Opioids

Project ALERT has just published a new supplement, Heroin and Other Opioids. We hope you will be able to set aside a few minutes to review some important facts and statistics about this issue with your students.

As with our recently-published supplements on marijuana and e-cigarettes, we kept the reading level appropriate for middle schoolers, making the guide suitable to use as a hand-out.

We hope you find this guide to be a useful and timely supplement to the Project ALERT curriculum.

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Monitoring the Future - Updated Data for 2015

The University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future national survey of substance use among students in U.S. middle schools and high schools has released results from 2015. Overall, for 8th graders, use of alcohol, cigarettes, marijuana, and a number of other illicit drugs remained steady or declined slightly since the last survey in 2014. Overall trends for all students indicated that both alcohol and cigarette use in this most recent survey were at their lowest points since the study began back in 1975. E-cigarette use has surpassed cigarette use among 8th graders and rates grew slightly from 2014.

Here are some statistics for 8th graders assessed in 2015:

In the past month…

·         9.7% used alcohol

·         9.5% used e-cigarettes

·         6.5% used marijuana

·         3.6% smoked cigarettes

·         3.1% have been drunk

·         2.0% used inhalants


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New Supplement on Marijuana

Project ALERT has just published a new supplement on marijuana.  It includes some of the basics (e.g., what forms does marijuana come in?; why does it make you “high”?) to more complex information and current issues (e.g., is marijuana addictive?; what is medical marijuana?).  As issues surrounding the legalization of both recreational and medical marijuana are increasingly present in the culture and on the news, we encourage Project ALERT facilitators to incorporate this up-to-date information into one or more lessons. 

We suggest reviewing the marijuana supplement prior to implementing Core Lesson 2, Consequences of Smoking Cigarettes and Marijuana.  You may find some helpful answers to common FAQs that students might ask during this session. 

We hope you find this new supplement useful as you talk to students and other colleagues who are teaching Project ALERT.


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