Substance Abuse Education & Prevention

Macomb Family Services takes a comprehensive approach to substance abuse in order to reduce the harm it causes on our society. That’s why in addition to offering treatment, we also work tirelessly to prevent addiction through substance abuse education. We focus our prevention efforts on school-based outreach programs for young people. All of our prevention programs are endorsed by the National Registry of Evidence-Based Prevention Programs.

Substance Abuse Education Programs for Students

School doors openPrime for Life

At a Glance

  • For: 8th – 12th grade students. Also available for adults.
  • Length: 4-16 (average is 8) sessions
  • Topics: Understanding personal risk and risk reduction, healthy lifestyle choices, substance use and addiction

Program Description

Prime for Life is an evidence-based prevention program designed to educate participants on the relationship between substance use/addiction and personal risk factors. Participants are encouraged to explore healthy lifestyle and behavioral choices they can make to reduce their chances of future substance misuse. The program is highly interactive and allows for open discussions.

Protecting You Protecting Me

At a Glance

  • For: 5th grade students
  • Topics: Alcohol education and driving

Program Description

Protecting You Protecting Me uses the latest scientific research of the brain to show why underage drinking is unsafe. It teaches safety skills, including how to refuse a ride with an unsafe driver and how to reduce the risks of riding with someone who is under the influence.

Too Good for Drugs

At a Glance

  • For: K-8th grade students
  • Topics: Drug education and peer pressure
  • When & Where: The K-5th grade Too Good for Drugs program runs during the summer at our Summer Bonanza while the 6th-8th grade program happens during the school year.

Program Description

Too Good for Drugs helps students navigate their way to a healthy future as they begin their journey through adolescence. In this comprehensive program, we teach children to resist substance abuse-related peer pressure and influence. We teach the following skills to empower students work towards a healthy future:

  • Goal setting
  • Decision making
  • Identifying and managing emotions
  • Effective communication
  • Bonding and relationship skills

These methods helps students build confidence so they can effectively face the real-life situations that often occur in middle school. Lessons teach the short and long-term effects of abusing various drugs and how they can interfere with a person’s goals.

Life Skills

Girls walking togetherAt a Glance

  • For: Special education students
  • Length: 10-12 weekly sessions
  • Topics: Drug education, high-risk

Program Description

Life Skills addresses the most important factors leading adolescents use drugs by teaching a combination of health information, general life skills, and drug resistance skills.

Project Toward No Drug Abuse

At a Glance

  • For: Alternative high school students ages 15 – 20
  • Length: 10-12 one-hour sessions, held weekly
  • Topics: Drug and alcohol education, high-risk

Program Description

Project TND’s curriculum was created for high-risk students in alternative high schools. It has also proven effective among traditional high school students. This program has been rigorously tested and is proven to work. It focuses on three factors that predict tobacco, alcohol, and other drug use, violence, and other problem behaviors. This program also helps students:

  • Develop self-control and communication skills
  • Find resources that help them resist drug use
  • Improve decision making
  • Develop the motivation not to use drugs

Project Alert

Program Description

The lessons in the Project Alert program center on norms, beliefs about drugs, ways to deal with stress, and resisting pressures to use.

Building Personal Power

At a Glance

  • For: Elementary, middle, and high school students
  • Topics: Anger

Program Description

Building Personal Power is a support group that empowers students to develop a calm inner strength so the can learn better ways of handling strong feelings. Students learn how feelings can be expressed and dealt with effectively without violence or aggression. Students are usually referred to the group by a school counselor, social worker, or assistant principal. With parent permission, they are excused from regular class hours for eight weeks. It is the student’s responsibility to make up any missed class work.

Substance Abuse Education Programs for Families

Boys enjoying the outdoorsChoices

At a Glance

  • For: Middle school or high school students who have been caught with tobacco products
  • Length: One 3-hour evening session
  • Topics: Tobacco education, high-risk

Program Description

Choices is a group that teaches the risks of using tobacco. Whenever possible, we do an exit interview with the parent or caretaker. They may be advised as to whether their child needs further treatment, but this is only a recommendation.

Boy walking down school hallwayTeen Intervene

At a Glance

  • For: middle school or high school students who were found with a substance or substance-related items and their parents or caretakers
  • Length: One 3-hour evening session
  • Topics: Drug and alcohol education, high-risk, intervention

Program Description

As part of Teen Intervene, students meet with a substance abuse prevention specialist. They are guided to look at the pros and cons of using. They then work together to set goals to reduce or remove the substance use and create a plan to achieve those goals. The prevention specialist will also determine the student’s willingness to change. At the end of the 3-hour session, we try to include a parent or guardian whenever possible. We want to encourage parenting behaviors that promote healthy change. Additionally, we may recommend that the student receives further treatment.

Strengthening Families

At a Glance

  • For: Students ages 8-14 and their parents or caretakers
  • Length: 7 evening sessions, held weekly

Program Description

Strengthening Families is a program that brings parents, children, and counselors together to share an evening meal. After dinner, we break into groups, with adults and children forming separate units. Then, everyone comes back together to discuss. Parents and children go home with family assignments. We provide free daycare for families with small children.

Summer Bonanza

At a Glance

  • For: Kids 5 – 14
  • Length: 6 weeks
  • Topics: Drug and alcohol education

Program Description

During summer break, we throw our Summer Bonanza. This program combines having fun and making healthy choices, reminding kids of the dangers of drug and alcohol use.

Other Prevention Services

Working with other organizations

In addition to the programs we just covered, Macomb Family Services provides works with other groups to develop community programs addressing substance abuse. We provide materials and help with community networking and referrals. Our current community projects include the Alcohol Retail Education Project and Prescription Drug Take Back Day.


As part of the Alcohol Retail Education Project, students and law enforcement officers hand out info packets to businesses that sell alcohol or tobacco products. We remind them of the penalties for selling to minors along with the importance of refusing to do so. MFS works with local police to promote Prescription Drug Take Back Day, which allows community members to drop off unused medications at the police department to make sure they are disposed of safely.

Working for other organizations

We also provide presentations, training, and consultations for schools, churches, community coalitions and other groups in Northern Macomb County (north of Hall Road). Our team can design the content to address specific concerns of the audience.