Project SUCCESS (Schools Using Coordinated Community Efforts to Strengthen Students) is a school-based intervention designed to prevent and reduce substance abuse among high-risk adolescents. Project SUCCESS counselors are placed in the schools to provide a range of substance use prevention and early intervention services. Counselors provide normative and prevention education; work with students to build resistance and social competency skills; and work with students, parents, and school administrators to change attitudes, behaviors, and school policies to help prevent and reduce substance use. Project SUCCESS was developed by Student Assistance Services (SAS) Corporation.
The target audience for Project SUCCESS is middle school and high school-age youth attending alternative and mainstream schools.
Project SUCCESS has been proven to be effective with white, Hispanic/Latino, African American, and Asian American students.
Project SUCCESS is made up of the following five program components:
- Prevention Education Series: This is a series of eight discussion groups on alcohol, tobacco, and other drug prevention conducted by the Project SUCCESS counselor with small groups of students.
- Individual and Group Counseling: Following participation in the Prevention Education Series, students are assessed for services. They may receive time-limited individual counseling or they may participate in one of seven counseling groups.
- School-Wide Awareness and Outreach Activities: Activities such as contests, assemblies, and other activities in conjunction with national events such as the Great American Smoke Out help students to change their perceptions of substance use and increase school connectedness.
- Parent Programs: Parents are involved in Project SUCCESS through a series of parenting workshops. These workshops provide parents with prevention information and provide an opportunity for parents to build social support.
- Referral: Students and parents who require treatment, more intensive counseling, or other services are referred to the appropriate agencies in their community.
A three-day training session is recommended. Training is provided by the developer, Student Assistance Services (SAS) Corporation.
A three-day training session at the trainer’s location in Westchester County, New York, costs $340 per person plus travel and per diem costs. This cost includes the Project SUCCESS manual, resource manual, packet of articles, and presentation handouts. The cost of an onsite training for an unlimited number of participants is $1,300 per day for three days, plus travel and per diem. This cost includes the Project SUCCESS manual, resource manual, packet of articles, and presentation handouts, but does not include the Project SUCCESS Data Collection Log ($50). The Project SUCCESS Implementation Manual may be purchased for $150 through the developer’s Web site, at http://www.sascorp.org /pdf/resources_for_implementation_order_form.pdf. Additional program costs include the salary of a full-time master’s-level counselor.
Two evaluation studies of Project SUCCESS have been conducted. The first study used a pretest and posttest comparison group design with a sample of 425 students in schools serving high-risk, multi problem adolescents. The evaluation showed decreases in substance use and reductions in negative attitudes and behaviors among students participating in Project SUCCESS. Key outcomes included the following:
- Project SUCCESS students showed a 37 percent decrease in substance abuse.
- Twenty-three percent of Project SUCCESS students quit using substances (compared with 5 percent in the comparison group).
- Project SUCCESS students had decreased problem behavior.
- Project SUCCESS students had decreased associations with peers who used substances.
The second study used a randomized repeated measures design with a sample of 363 students attending a mainstream middle school and high school. Findings indicate that alcohol and drug users participating in Project SUCCESS either reduced or delayed their use of other substances compared to users in the control group. Key outcomes for alcohol and other drug users participating in Project SUCCESS were:
- Less likely to have ever used marijuana at posttest.
- Less likely to have ever sniffed/huffed at posttest.
- Less likely to have ever used prescription drugs at posttest.
- Less likely to have smoked in the last month at posttest.
- Less likely to have ever used a substance when alone at posttest.
There is not one specific outcome instrument recommended for evaluating Project SUCCESS. The developers suggest using an established survey instrument such as the American Drug and Alcohol Survey, American Drug and Alcohol Survey Core Measures Short Form Survey, Communities That Care Survey, Monitoring the Future, as well as many of the statewide substance use surveys already in place. To effectively evaluate Project SUCCESS, the instrument must contain items that measure alcohol and other drug usage, as well as the Project SUCCESS targeted risk and protective factors. These include perception of harm, peer disapproval and usage, parental disapproval, participation in peer or school non-drug activities, and problem behaviors associated with substance use.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Model Program
- Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) Model Program
- National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) 2003 Prevention and
- Education Meritorious Award
Johnson, P., & Vaughn, R. (2006). Final Report to the U.S. Department of Education. Grants to Reduce Alcohol Abuse.
Morehouse, E., & Tobler, N. S. (2000). Preventing and reducing substance use among institutionalized adolescents. Adolescence, 35(137), 1-28.
Tobler, N. S. (2000). Project SUCCESS Final Report to the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP).