Project Towards No Drug Abuse (Project TND) is an interactive program designed to help high school youths (ages 14–19) resist substance use.
This school-based program consists of twelve 40- to 50-minute lessons that include motivational activities, social skills training, and decision-making components that are delivered through group discussions, games, role-playing exercises, videos, and student worksheets over 4 weeks. The program was originally designed for high-risk youth in continuation (or alternative) high schools and consisted of nine lessons developed using a motivation-skills–decision-making model. The instruction to students provides cognitive motivation enhancement activities to not use drugs, detailed information about the social and health consequences of drug use, and correction of cognitive misperceptions. It addresses topics such as active listening skills, effective communication skills, stress management, coping skills, tobacco cessation techniques, and self-control—all to counteract risk factors for drug abuse relevant to older teens.
Project TND is based on the theories of cognitive perception and behavioral skills. The former is used to address the problem of “drug myths,” which can be associated with higher levels of drug use and misinform youths’ choices. The behavioral skills theory informs components of the program that address social skills and behavioral self-management. In the latter view, drug use is often a manifestation of poor socialization, related to anger management problems, communication difficulties, and a lack of self-control. By improving social skills, the program aims to allow youths greater social flexibility, the possibility to bond with a variety of peer groups, and the ability to better communicate with authority figures by limiting conflict and stressful interactions.
The program is designed to be delivered by a trained classroom teacher or health educator. It can also be implemented in a community setting by trained implementers for community-based organizations. A Teacher’s Manual details the 12 sessions and instructional techniques.
14 to 19
Results indicated that, at 1 year after the intervention, participants receiving Project Towards No Drug Abuse (Project TND) reported significant reductions in hard drug use (compared with comparison group students) and reductions in alcohol use among students who indicated alcohol use at pretest. No reductions in marijuana or tobacco use were found. Sun and colleagues (2006) collected 4- to 5-year follow-up data during telephone interviews with participants and found that subjects receiving the nine-session Project TND program reported long-term maintenance effects for 30-day hard drug use. Compared with the control group, the intervention group who received the classroom-only intervention had less than half of last-month drug frequency. The intervention group who received the classroom and community components reported about one fifth the last-month drug use frequency compared with the control group.
The evaluation testing two Project TND delivery modes (health educator–led classroom and self-instruction classroom programs) against a standard care condition showed that the subjects in the health educator–led program reported significantly lower 30-day tobacco use and hard drug use at the 2-year follow-up compared with the control and self-instruction conditions. The subjects in the health educator–led TND program also reported significant reduction in marijuana use among male nonusers at pretest compared with the control and self-instruction conditions. The self-instruction program did not result in any significant differences when compared with the control group.
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