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Project Towards No Drug Abuse



Project Towards No Drug Abuse (Project TND) is a drug abuse prevention program focused on high school youth, ages 14 to 19. The TND curriculum is structured in 12 in-class interactive sessions that consist of motivation-skills-decision-making material targeting the use of cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, and hard drugs and violence-related behaviors. The topics are:

  • Active listening
  • Stereotyping
  • Myths and denials
  • Chemical dependency
  • Talk show
  • Marijuana panel
  • Tobacco use cessation
  • Stress, health, and goals
  • Self-control
  • Positive and negative thought and behavior loops
  • Perspectives
  • Decision making and commitment

Each of the 12 classroom-based lessons runs approximately 40 to 50 minutes, and is designed to be conducted over a four-week period. The instruction students receive in the interactive format include cognitive motivation enhancement activities (to avoid drugs), detailed information about the social and health consequences of drug use, and correction of cognitive misperceptions about illegal drugs. The instruction also includes active listening, effective communication skills, stress management, coping skills, tobacco cessation techniques, and self-control to counteract risk factors for drug abuse relevant to older teens.

TND has been tested at traditional and alternative high schools. Evaluations in three experimental evaluations involving approximately 3,000 youths from 42 schools showed very positive results. At one-year follow-up, relative to the comparison group, participants who received the 12-session program experienced:

  • A 27 percent prevalence reduction in 30-day cigarette use.
  • A 22 percent prevalence reduction in 30-day marijuana use.
  • A 26 percent prevalence reduction in 30-day hard drug use.
  • A 9 percent prevalence reduction in 30-day alcohol use among baseline drinkers.
  • A 6 percent prevalence reduction in victimization among males.

Risk Factors


High alcohol/drug use

Life stressors

Makes excuses for delinquent behavior (neutralization)

Poor refusal skills


Broken home/changes in caretaker

Family history of problem behavior/criminal involvement

Low parental attachment to child/adolescent

Poor parental supervision (control, monitoring, and child management)


Poor school attitude/performance; academic failure

Poorly organized and functioning schools/inadequate school climate/negative labeling by teachers


Availability and use of drugs in the neighborhood

Neighborhood youth in trouble


Association with antisocial/aggressive/delinquent peers; high peer delinquency

Peer alcohol/drug use


University of Colorado Blueprints: Model program


Leah Meza
USC Institute for Prevention Research
Soto Street Bldg., 302A
201 N. Soto Street
Los Angeles, CA 90032
Phone: (800) 400-8461 for orders
Fax: (323) 442-7254
E-mail: [email protected]
Web site: http://tnd.usc.edu


Sussman, S.; Rohrbach, L.; and Mihalic, S. (2004). Blueprints for Violence Prevention, Book Twelve: Project Towards No Drug Abuse. (D. S. Elliott, Series Editor). Boulder, CO: Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence, Institute of Behavioral Science, University of Colorado.

Date Created: April 7, 2021