Project Towards No Drug Abuse

January 5, 2023 or January 6, 2023; 8:00am – 4:00pm

Hampton Inn & Suites Urbandale/Des Moines
8811 Plum Drive
Urbandale, Iowa
Phone 515-252-7000


Two sessions supporting the Project Towards No Drug Abuse efforts will be offered on January 5 and 6, 2023. Attendees need only attend one day as the program content presented is the same each day.  The session will begin at 8:00a.m. and conclude at 4:00p.m. There will be a one-hour break for lunch. Attendees may bring their own lunch or go nearby; lunch will not be provided.

Project TND is considered a “model” or “evidence-based” program by the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP/SAMSHA), National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Health Canada, the USDOE, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP/DSG), Maryland Blueprints, U.S. Department of Defense, Sociometrics Inc, and others.

Target Audience:
The target audience for this training are substance abuse prevention specialists who want to implement Project TND in schools and afterschool environments. The target audience for Project TND is high school youth, ages 14 to 19 years old, who are at risk for drug abuse.

Project TND objectives that will be reached at the completion of the student program are:

  • Stop or reduce the use of cigarettes, alcohol, marijuana, and hard drugs (i.e., cocaine, hallucinogens, depressants, amphetamines, etc).
  • Stop or reduce self-reports of weapon carrying and victimization.
  • State accurate information about the environmental, social, physiological, and emotional consequences of drug use and abuse.
  • Demonstrate behavioral and cognitive coping skills.
  • Make a personal commitment about drug use.

How Project TND Works
Project TND features a set of 12 in-class interactive sessions that provide motivation-skills-decision-making material targeting the use of tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, hard drug use, and violence-related behavior. Topics include myths & denial, chemical dependency, self-control, behavior loops, and perspectives.  View a complete list here.

The 12 classroom-based lessons, approximately 40 to 50 minutes each, are designed to be implemented over a four-week period, although they could be spread out over as long as six-weeks on the condition that all lessons are taught.

The instruction to students provides detailed information about the social and health consequences of drug use and addresses topics including instruction in active listening, effective communication skills, stress management, tobacco cessation techniques, and self-control to counteract risk factors for drug abuse relevant to older teens.

Program Results
Project TND has been rigorously tested, with seven research trials and over 8,600 youth participants, to date. More than 5,700 youth from 42 high schools in Southern California, and over 2,800 youth from 45 high schools outside of California across the U.S., have participated in our research on the program. USC has evaluated program effectiveness in alternative (continuation) high schools as well as regular high schools. The student populations in these schools have been ethnically diverse, including African American (5-26%), Latino/Hispanic (28-46%), Asian (1-7%) and White (36-45%) students.

At one-year follow-up, relative to comparison students, participants experienced:

  • A 27% prevalence reduction in 30-day tobacco use.
  • A 22% prevalence reduction in 30-day marijuana use
  • A 26% prevalence reduction in 30-day hard drug use.
  • A 9% prevalence reduction in 30-day alcohol use among baseline drinkers.
  • A 25% prevalence reduction in 1-year weapons carrying among males.

Note: prevalence reduction refers to no engagement in a behavior within the time period specified (i.e., the last 30 days, the last year).

Laura Ross is a certified Project TND Trainer and has worked with the University of Southern California for over 20 years. Highlights of her career include being a high school health teacher, public health professor for almost 6 years, and serving at two California public universities in motivating students to make healthier choices. She has worked throughout Southern California and across the nation to implement prevention programs. She makes it a priority to watch the sunset and enjoy the people in her life. Let’s say an extra thank you to this Californian for venturing to Iowa in January!