Alcohol Education Guide
to Reducing Harmful Drinking

Project Venture



Developer: National Indian Youth Leadership Project

Partners: Funding from the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention

Program Overview: Project Venture is a youth development program aimed at reducing alcohol consumption and drug use among American Indian adolescents in grades 5-8.

Program Design: This program was developed for use among American Indian 5th - 8th grade students in New Mexico. The program uses traditional classroom-based curriculum as well as experiential learning through community service or outdoor activities. The main program content includes:

  • Problem-solving games and activities
  • Skill-building activities (conducted after school, on weekends, and in summer)
  • Immersive summer camp
  • Service leadership projects

Unlike most alcohol and drug education programs, Project Venture does not teach specifically about alcohol or drugs. Instead the program aims to create resilience around alcohol and drugs by helping to improve youths social and communications skills, community service participation, self-image, and ability to make decisions and solve problems.

Evaluation: Project Venture was evaluated as part of a larger study called the National Cross-Site Study of High School Risk Youth Programs, which began in 1996. Two public middle schools were randomly assigned to the intervention or control condition and the National Youth Survey, developed by CSAP, was administered as a baseline and at 6 and 18 months after program conclusion.

Key findings: Analysis of questionnaire data found that Project Venture had a statistically significant effect on alcohol consumption among American Indian youth participating in the trial.

  • Alcohol consumption in the control group increased over time, however, students who participated in the program did not increase their consumption between the 6 and 18 month follow ups.

Program Website: www.niylp.org


1. Carter, S., Straits, K. J. E., Hall, M. (2007). Project Venture: Evaluation of a positive, culture-based approach to substance abuse prevention with American Indian youth. Technical Report. The National Indian Youth Leadership Project. Gallup, NM.

Target Audience: Middle school (10-14 years)
Issues: Underage Drinking
Setting: Extra-curricular clubs or organizations, School clubs or community organizations, Schools
Approach: Life Skills
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