Recommended program

Project Towards No Drug Abuse (Project TND)

  • TND Project towards no drug abuse
Targeted Drugs: , ,

This resource is supported by multiple published studies.

Year 9–10, Year 11–12
Time Allocated

7 lessons or more




Costs Involved

Content Especially Suited For

Culturally & Linguistically Diverse

High-risk students


Project Towards No Drugs is managed by the University of Southern California Institute for Prevention Research.
Click below to be directed to the Project TND website and to access Project TND programs. 

Access Project Towards No Drug Abuse

Access Project Towards No Tobacco Use


University of Southern California Institute for Prevention Research.


This curriculum-based program is designed to be administered by teachers. Program materials include a teacher’s manual, student workbooks, and supplementary teaching tools. A Spanish language version of the program is available.

Project Towards No Drug Abuse (Project TND) involves 12 x 45-minute lessons with an interactive format incorporating group discussions, games, role-playing, and student worksheets. The program was designed to be implemented over a four-week period, but can also be implemented over six weeks. 

Project Towards No Tobacco Use (Project TNT) involves 10 core lessons and 2 booster lessons, approximately 45 minutes each in duration. The core lessons are designed to be implemented across two weeks, although this can be extended to a four-week period. The booster lessons are designed to be implemented 1 year following the core lessons.


Project TND is a classroom-based prevention program that focuses on three factors predictive of tobacco, alcohol, other drug use, and problem behaviors in youth:

  • Motivation factors (i.e., students' attitudes, beliefs, expectations, and desires regarding drug use)
  • Skills (effective communication, social self-control, and coping skills)
  • Decision-making (i.e., how to make decisions that lead to health-promoting behaviors).

The program makes use of interactive teaching techniques to provide students with information about the consequences of drug use, coping skills enhancement, correction of misperceptions about drug use, and motivation enhancement activities. Project TND was originally developed for students in high-risk high schools; however it has also been evaluated in regular high schools. Please note that some of the content (e.g., help-seeking toolkit) will need modification to suit implementation in Australia. 

Project TNT is a classroom-based prevention program that focuses on three main factors to prevent tobacco use:

  • Be critical of misleading social information, such as tobacco advertising and overestimates of the prevalence of tobacco use;
  • Develop skills to resist social pressures that may lead to tobacco use;
  • Understand the effects of tobacco and the consequences of use.

Training & Costs

Attendance at a 1-2 day professional training workshop is strongly recommended. The effectiveness of implementing the programs without specialist training is not yet known.
Training workshops are currently run in California, USA, but alternate arrangements may be possible. See the Project TND or Project TNT website for information about the training workshops and costs for the program materials.  


Project TND:

  • Reduced alcohol use 
  • Reduced tobacco use 
  • Reduced marijuana use
  • Reduced ”hard drug” use* at short and long-term follow up (4-5 years).

*encompassing cocaine, inhalants, stimulants, ecstasy, depressants, heroin and steroids.

Project TNT:

  • Reduced uptake of cigarettes
  • Reduced uptake of smokeless tobacco
  • Reduced frequency of cigarette smoking
  • Reduced frequency of smokeless tobacco

Evidence Base

The most relevant studies evaluating the program are listed below; for a full list see Project TND Evaluation studies. Benefits of the program have not yet been evaluated in an Australian sample. The effectiveness of implementing the program without specialist training is not yet known, as all the studies listed below incorporated at least a one-day training workshop. 
See below also for an endorsement from an external organisation and evidence base cautions. 


Sussman, S., Sun, P., Rohrbach, L. A., & Spruijt-Metz, D. (2012). One-year outcomes of a drug abuse prevention program for older teens and emerging adults: Evaluating a motivational interviewing booster component. Health Psychology, 31, 476-485.

Rohrbach, L. A., Gunning, M., Sun, P., & Sussman, S. (2010). The Project Towards No Drug Abuse (TND) Dissemination Trial: Implementation Fidelity and Immediate Outcomes. Prevention Science, 11, 77-88.

Valente, T. W., Ritt-Olson, A., Stacy, A., Unger, J. B., Okamoto, J., & Sussman, S. (2007). Peer acceleration: effects of a social network tailored substance abuse prevention program among high-risk adolescents. Addiction, 102, 1804-1815.

*Note: In this study benefits were only observed in an enhanced version of Project TND which involved additional group interaction. This version of the program reduced substance use for students who had peer networks with low substance use. However students with friends who reported substance use were likely to increase use.

Sun, W., Skara, S., Sun, P., Dent, C. W., & Sussman, S. (2006). Project Towards No Drug Abuse: Long-term substance use outcomes evaluation. Prev Med, 42, 188-192.

Dent, C. W., Sussman, S., & Stacy, A. W. (2001). Project Towards No Drug Abuse: generalizability to a general high school sample. Preventive Medicine, 32, 514-520. 

Evidence-base Cautions: 

The benefits of Project TND have varied from trial to trial. The most consistent benefits are for “hard drug” use (encompassing cocaine, inhalants, stimulants, ecstasy, depressants, heroin and steroids), which have been observed in 7 studies and appear to be maintained long-term (up to 5 years). Reductions in alcohol and tobacco use were observed less consistently. There was evidence in one study that an interactive version of the program may increase substance use in students with substance using friends. A critical review of past research analysing the program's effectiveness has concluded there is little evidence to support its efficacy. See the paper below for full details:

Gorman, D. M. (2014). Is Project Towards No Drug Abuse (Project TND) an evidence-based drug and violence prevention program? A review and reappraisal of the evaluation studies. The journal of primary prevention, 35, 217-232.

However, one study provides important insight into the impact of contextual and provider-level factors influencing implementation fidelity. These effects should be considered in evaluations of program effectiveness. See the paper below for full details:

Little, M. A., Sussman, S., Sun, P., & Rohrbach, L. A. (2013). The effects of implementation fidelity in the Towards No Drug Abuse dissemination trial. Health Education113, 281-296.

Project TND is included in SAMHSA's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (USA).

Project TNT:

Sussman, S., Dent, C.W., Stacy, A.W., Sun, P., Craig, S., Simon, T.R., Burton, D., & Flay, B.R. (1993). Project Towards No Tobacco Use: One-year behavior outcomes.American Journal of Public Health, 83, 1245-1250

Dent, C.W., Sussman, S., Stacy, A.W., Craig, S., Burton, D., & Flay, B.R. (1995). Two-year behavior outcomes of Project Towards No Tobacco Use. Journal of Clinical and Consulting Psychology, 63, 676-677.

Sussman, S., Dent, C.W., Stacy, A.W., Hodgson, C., Burton, D., & Flay, B.R. (1993). Project Towards No Tobacco Use: Implementation, process and posttest knowledge evaluation. Health Education Research: Theory and Practice, 8, 109-123.

Wang, L.Y., Crossett, L.S., Lowry, R, Sussman, S., & Dent, C.W. (2001).Cost-effectiveness of a school-based tobacco-use prevention program. Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 155, 1043-1050.

Page last reviewed: 12/08/2022

Something missing?

Looking for information that isn’t provided here?

Make a suggestion for this website

Need immediate support for
you or someone you know?

Get help and support now