Objectives: We evaluated the revised Project ALERT drug prevention program across a wide variety of Midwestern schools and communities.
Methods: Fifty-five South Dakota middle schools were randomly assigned to program or control conditions. Treatment group students received 11 lessons in 7th grade and 3 more in 8th grade. Program effects for 4276 8th-graders were assessed 18 months after baseline.
Results: The revised Project ALERT curriculum curbed cigarette and marijuana use initiation, current and regular cigarette use, and alcohol misuse. Reductions ranged from 19% to 39%. Program effects were not significant for initial and current drinking or for current and regular marijuana use.
Conclusions: School-based drug prevention programs can prevent occasional and more serious drug use, help low- to high-risk adolescents, and be effective in diverse school environments.