Alcohol Education Guide
to Reducing Harmful Drinking

Getting Started

Program Goal

One of the first steps in program planning and design is identifying the issue you would like your program to address and defining your overall program goal. 

Defining your program goal involves clearly identifying the following:

    1. The needs or problems to be addressed by your program, and
    2. The purpose of your program.

Identifying the Target audience for your program, the behaviors it will directly or indirectly address, or the settings in which it will be applied further helps to set a well-defined goal for your program, describing the issue you wish to address. 


Target audience, focusing on "at-risk" groups:

    • Young people (ages 18-25)
    • Underage people (under legal drinking age, as defined in a given jurisdiction)
    • Pregnant women
    • Binge or heavy drinkers
    • Marginalized groups


    • Heavy drinking patterns
    • Drinking and driving
    • “Binge” drinking
    • Drinking during pregnancy
    • "Pre-loading"

Settings where risk may be high:

    • Workplace
    • Festivals, events, or public celebrations
    • Drinking establishments
    • Urban entertainment areas
    • Spring Break destinations for young people
    • Fraternity or sorority social functions

At this early stage in the planning process, you can begin to define your program goal by focusing on a particular target audience, alcohol-related behavior, high-risk setting, or a combination of these.

In the Program Design section, you will expand on this program goal by exploring and incorporating additional key components of your overarching program goal in order to define detailed objectives. 

Some examples of program goals are below:

    • Reduce binge drinking among young adults in bars or nightclubs;
    • Reduce underage drinking among high school students;
    • Increase awareness of the dangers of pre-gaming / pre-loading drinking behaviors before sporting events;
    • Increase awareness of the effects of alcohol on driving;
    • Increase awareness of drink driving laws and BAC limits;
    • Reduce alcohol sales to minors;
    • Reduce number of alcohol-related road accidents;
    • Correct misperceptions overestimating the drinking norm of peers regarding frequency of alcohol consumption or quantity of alcohol typically consumed;
    • Change attitudes, beliefs about binge drinking.

Using the examples for target audience, behaviors, settings, and program goals on this page, write in your program goal below. If you have created an account, your goal will be saved to your profile and used in an upcoming step to develop your program objectives. 

My program goal is to

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Target audience

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