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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.

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Originally published in: American Journal of Public Health, v. 93, no. 11, November 2003, pp. 1830-1836.

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