Prevention Education

Life Skills Training

The Life Skills Training (LST) program is a groundbreaking evidence-based substance abuse prevention curriculum, widely used in schools across the state, country, and world.

The LifeSkills Training (LST) program is a school-based substance abuse prevention curriculum that targets students in grades K-12.

The program aims to modify drug-related knowledge, attitudes, and norms; teaches skills for resisting social influences that encourage drug use; and fosters the development of general personal and social skills.

The LST curriculum is taught over three consecutive school years, typically following a class of students from 6th to 8th grade. The program consists of 15 lessons in the first year, followed by 10 “booster” lessons during the program’s second year and 5 to 8 booster lessons in the third year. Booster lessons are designed to reinforce earlier material and to provide additional opportunities for skill development and practice. LST also offers curriculum at the elementary and high school levels.

Rather than merely teaching information about the dangers of drug abuse, LST promotes healthy alternatives to risky behavior through activities designed to:

  • Teach students the necessary skills to resist social (peer) pressures to smoke, drink, and use drugs
  • Help students to develop greater self-­‐esteem and self-­‐confidence
  • Enable students to effectively cope with anxiety
  • Increase their knowledge of the immediate consequences of substance abuse
  • Enhance cognitive and behavioral competency to reduce and prevent a variety of health risk behaviors

The LST program has been used among students of all ages and backgrounds, and has been studied extensively in rural, suburban and urban settings. Program impacts have been assessed immediately following program completion, with data collected through pre- and post- tests. Implementation of the program is classroom-based, and can vary in length (12 to 20 sessions).

For more information or to request services, please contact Amy Argiriou at, or fill out the Request for Prevention Services form here.

Protecting You / Protecting Me

Protecting You/Protecting Me is a classroom-facilitated, evidence-based alcohol use prevention curriculum designed by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), that has been designated as a model prevention program by SAMHSA, a division of the U.S. Department of Health.

Research shows that the risk for alcohol and other drug use skyrockets when children enter the sixth grade, between the ages of 12 and 13. To be effective in preventing alcohol use by teenagers, we must reach out to and educate children in grades K-5.

Protecting You / Protecting Me (PY/PM) helps to reach children before they have fully shaped their attitudes and opinions about alcohol use, teaching them how to protect themselves and make informed decisions.

The curriculum gives students essential knowledge and skills that:

  • Increase their non-use attitudes and decisions regarding underage alcohol use
  • Increase their intentions not to ride with an impaired driver
  • Improve their ability to protect themselves when they have no option but to ride with a driver who is not alcohol-free

The lessons in PY/PM reinforce the fact that the brains of children and adolescents are still maturing and respond to alcohol very differently than those of adults, putting children at a much higher risk. Lessons will cover a variety of life skills, including media awareness, communication, and vehicle safety. The curriculum focuses on the effects of alcohol on the developing brain during the first 21 years of life.

The Protecting You / Protecting Me curriculum addresses eight topics:

  • Our Brain
  • Growth and Development
  • Health and Safety
  • Rules and Laws Friends
  • Choices and Decisions
  • Media Awareness
  • Communication and Vehicle Safety

This curriculum provides a series of 40 interactive lessons — eight lessons each for grades K-5. Each grade level has its own materials, which include Parental Involvement Activities.

For more information or to request services, please contact Amy Argiriou at, or fill out the Request for Prevention Services form here.

Too Good for Drugs & Violence

The evidence-based Too Good for Drugs & Violence program prepares students with the skills they need for academic, social, and life success. Interactive games and activities provide practical guidance on dating and relationships, building healthy friendships, and refusing negative peer influence.

This comprehensive prevention education program for high school students was designed to equip students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes they need to remain safe and drug free. Based on the renowned research of Hawkins and Catalano’s Risk and Protective Factors and The Search Institute’s 40 Development Assets, the program promotes bonding, develops essential life skills and establishes positive violence-free and drug free norms.

Typically facilitated across 10 40-minute lessons, this curriculum fosters analysis and discussion of the effects of ATOD use as well as prescription and OTC drug use and various nicotine delivery devices. Students also analyze the impact of social media on decision making, reaching goals, and self-identity.

Students learn how to navigate the challenges of social and academic pressures like making responsible decisions, managing stress and anger, reflecting on personal relationships, and resolving conflicts. The lessons use collaborative and experiential learning strategies to help students practice the skills proven to prevent violence and other risky behaviors.

Learning objectives include:

  • Develop and increase social skills such as communication and assertiveness
  • Develop and increase personal skills such as self-esteem and stress management
  • Gain an increased awareness of alcohol and other drug health risks
  • Learn skills to help make smart and healthy life long decisions

For more information or to request services, please contact Amy Argiriou at, or fill out the Request for Prevention Services form here.

Strengthening Families Program

The Strengthening Families Program (SFP) is an evidence-based family skills training program for high-risk and general population families that is recognized both nationally and internationally.

Parents and youth attend weekly SFP skills classes together, learning parenting skills and youth life and refusal skills. The program is for families with children ages 6-11. They have separate class training for parents and youth the first hour, followed by a joint family practice session the second hour.

The Strengthening Families Program consists of 14 sessions (2/week for 7 weeks or 1/week for 14 weeks). Each session starts with a meal for parents/guardians and their children; sessions are 2.5 hours long and aim to improve communication, reduce the risk of child substance abuse, allow parents to share parenting tools and reflect on their values and beliefs, and support children as they grow to be independent and self-reliant citizens.

SFP participants across the world have reported the following outcomes:

  • Increased family bonding and and organization
  • Increased parental involvement and positive parenting skills
  • Decreased family conflict
  • Increased positive communication and youth cooperation
  • Decreased youth depression and aggression
  • Increased number of prosocial friends
  • Increased youth school grades and social competencies

Additional Program Details:

  • Childcare is provided for children who do not meet the age 6-11 eligibility criteria.
  • Transportation can be provided if needed.
  • Dinner is provided for all participants; inform us of any dietary restrictions.
  • Participating families must attend a minimum number of classes to qualify for large incentives at the end of the program.

For more information or to request services, please contact Amy Argiriou at, or fill out the Request for Prevention Services form here.

Wellness Initiative for Senior Education (WISE)

The Wellness Initiative for Senior Education (WISE) is an evidence-based program designed to promote healthy aging, lifestyle choices, and substance abuse prevention among older adults.

WISE offers an activity-based educational curriculum tailored to celebrate healthy aging and empower seniors to make informed health and lifestyle decisions. The program focuses on wellness, prevention, and the benefits of healthy living.

WISE is funded under Title III of the Older Americans Act of 1965, as amended, through a contract by the Mercer County Office on Aging.

WISE offers a six-lesson curriculum designed to engage seniors age 60 or older and foster social connections among participants.

Lesson topics include:

  • Learning about the aging process and how to make healthy lifestyle choices
  • Celebrating this exciting stage of life and all the benefits that come with it
  • Discussion on risk factors and behaviors that should be avoided to stay healthy
  • Examining how alcohol, prescription medications and over‐the‐counter medications affect seniors differently and ways to avoid potential problems
  • Learning how to use simple tools that help with health management and navigating healthcare services

A condensed 1-hour workshop adapted from the WISE curriculum is available. Learn more about our Healthy Outlooks program.

For more information or to schedule programming, please contact Lisa Kauffman at

Additional Programs

Research has clearly demonstrated that substance abuse prevention needs to begin at a very young age and continue to be reinforced throughout childhood and adolescence. However, most prevention programs are not designed to reach students until their later years.

Footprints for Life is an evidence-based primary prevention program that starts early to teach children the first steps of prevention, and provides them with a healthy path to follow as they grow. The Footprints curriculum…

  • Reaches children while their health-related attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors are at a formative stage
  • Provides a resource for teachers to help identify potential problems
  • Opens the door for parents to have important discussions with their children at home

PreVenture is a 2-week evidence-based prevention program that uses four different personality interventions. The program’s goals are to promote mental health, increase skill development and delay substance use among youth. At its core, the program aims to provide youth with cognitive behavioral skills to help them cope with the multiple challenges many teens face, such as academic stress, peer pressure, and interpersonal conflict. In addition, the program identifies at-risk youth through a universal screening tool.

Grades: 7th to 12th
Group Size: 4 to 10 students in each group.
Length: Total of 2 lessons for 90 minutes each session