What is the Preventure Drug and Alcohol Prevention Program?

Support the Preventure pilot implementation in Virginia. All donations are DOUBLED through January 3, 2018–matched dollar for dollar by Newman’s Own Foundation. We are very close to our goal. 

Preventure is one of the few adolescent drug prevention programs in the 2016 US Surgeon General’s Landmark Report on Addiction.

Preventure is an evidence-based school program associated with 30-80% reduction in adolescent substance misuse. This intervention focuses on teaching teens coping strategies to manage personality traits that predispose them to addiction and associated high risk behaviors. Personality traits that predispose one to addiction include:

  • Sensation seeking
  • Impulsiveness
  • Anxiety Sensitivity
  • Hopelessness


  •  A study from Yale University suggests that drug addiction is a developmental disorder, one that affects adolescents in particular. The reason: Areas of a teenager’s brain that control impulsive behavior are not fully formed, while brain circuits that reinforce drug use are already in high gear. Source
  • Individuals who tried marijuana or alcohol before the age of 15 were almost four times as likely to suffer from a marijuana use disorder as an adult than those who waited until after age 18 to try these substances, according to data published in the 2013 NSDUH. Source
  • Many factors influence whether an adolescent tries drugs, including the availability of drugs within the neighborhood, community, and school and whether the adolescent’s friends are using them. Source NIH
  • Personality factors have been identified as robust risk factors for substance use disorders and have been shown to mediate the genetic predisposition to substance misuse and predict patterns of psychiatric comorbidity and patterns of substance misuse. Inspired by these findings, the personality-targeted approach to substance use prevention and brief intervention offers a novel strategy for intervening on risk factors for substance misuse and offers many advantages over more traditional universal prevention or generic intervention approaches targeting substance use behaviors more directly. Source
  • More information

Beacon Tree Foundation in partnership with VCU Institute of Drug & Alcohol Studies and Virginia Recovery Foundation.

Published by

AnneMoss Rogers

AnneMoss Rogers is a mental health and suicide education expert, mental health speaker, suicide prevention trainer and consultant. She is author of the Book, Diary of a Broken Mind and co-author of Emotionally Naked: A Teacher's Guide to Preventing Suicide and Recognizing Students at Risk with Kim O'Brien PhD, LICSW. She raised two boys, Richard and Charles, and lost her younger son, Charles to addiction and suicide on June 5, 2015. She is a motivational speaker who empowers by educating and provides life saving strategies and emotionally healthy coping skills. As talented and funny as Charles was, letting other people know they matter was his greatest gift. And now that's the legacy she carries forward in her son's memory. Mental Health Speakers Website.

7 thoughts on “What is the Preventure Drug and Alcohol Prevention Program?”

  1. Gabapentin is an off-label medication that can be used for alcohol use disorder, originally developed to treat epilepsy. If you struggle with anxiety or insomnia, this medication may help you quit alcohol more easily. When there is a problem with alcohol, it’s good to read blogs like this or other publications (i.e. how to help an alcoholic you love), where you will find a lot of anonymous help and advice.

  2. I truly wish this program had been available to my son. He is 28 now and has survived addiction but still has a long way to go. He had all those personality traits. You are doing great work. Thank you so much and best wishes for 2018.

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