Alcohol Education Guide
to Reducing Harmful Drinking

Program Design

Program Content

Determining what your program content should include involves careful consideration of your desired outcomes. To ensure the greatest chance of success, content needs to be relevant to your Target audience. Content also needs to be acceptable to the stakeholders involved and the community in which the program will take place.

As a first step, it is beneficial to get feedback from all those who may influence your program using focus groups, questionnaires, or semi-structured interviews.

In designing your program content, you will need to consider what information you want to convey and the approach you will use to do so. Keep in mind that a multi-component strategy may be more effective than a single approach in achieving your desired outcomes.

What kind of information will your program impart? The following are some possible examples, but there may be others that are equally relevant.

  • Clarification of social norms, peer norms
  • Facts about alcohol:
        • Alcohol’s effects on the body
        • Legal drinking or purchase age legislation and regulations
        • Standard drink size information
        • Legal minimum BAC limits and enforcement
        • Responsible sale and service
  • Life skills / Parenting skills
        • Protective or moderation strategies
        • Alternative activities to drinking
        • Resilience training
        • Self-control building
        • Rule-setting
        • Setting attitudes around drinking

How will you convey this information? It is important to select the approach most likely to bring about the change you want to see. If, for example, you want to delay the age of first drink among middle school children, you may want to choose a life skills training approach that provides protective behavioral strategies to resist peer pressure to drink alcohol. 


What type of approach will you use?

      • Social norms campaign or feedback, including:
            • Comparison of perceived and actual norms
            • Challenges to misperceptions about prevailing norms.
      • Life skills training, including approaches to:
            • Improve alcohol knowledge
            • Foster self-efficacy
            • Build resilience
            • Strengthen refusal skills
            • Enhance communication skills.
      • Screening and brief interventions in order to:
            • Advise and assist "at risk" individuals; set personal goals; provide support
            • Provide motivational interviewing
            • Offer personalized feedback on consumption, alcohol-related risks and problems, moderation strategies
            • Incorporate normative feedback.
      • Systems-based, community, or environmental, including:
            • Encouragement of change to policies, enforcement, and other structural elements that influence the alcohol environment.
      • Participatory approach, which aims to:
            • Actively involve students in developing their own knowledge
            • Enable students to influence project content
            • Render students action-competent.
      • Multi-component approaches
            • Identify a suitable combination of approaches.


Use the write-in fields below to describe the type of information and the approach your program will use. Your input will be saved to your dashboard and used in an upcoming step to create SMART objectives.

My program content includes this type of information:

My program content uses this type of approach:

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Target audience

the particular group to which the program is aimed. For example, young people.