PRIME for Life
20 Hour Educational Program
Connie Ferguson PRIME For Life is an alcohol and drug program for people of all ages.
It is designed to gently but powerfully challenge common beliefs and attitudes that directly contribute to high-risk alcohol and drug use. The program goals are to reduce the risk for health problems and impairment problems.
A primary goal of PRIME For Life is prevention of any type of alcohol or drug problem. This includes prevention of health problems such as alcoholism, or impairment problems such as car crashes or fights. Emphasis is on knowing and understanding risks one cannot change and reducing risks one can change.
Many people who attend a PRIME For Life program already show signs of alcohol- or drug-related health or impairment problems. PRIME For Life is designed to effectively interrupt the progression of use with these audiences. PRIME For Life’s intervention component focuses on self-assessment to help people understand and accept the need for change. Intensive prevention services, counseling, or treatment may be necessary to support these changes. For those who already need treatment, the program serves as pre-treatment and support for abstinence. Using a persuasion-based approach, instructors use a variety of delivery methods, including interactive presentation and small group discussion. Participants use work books throughout the course to complete a number of individual and group activities. Material is presented using a DVD platform with animation, full-motion video clips, and audio clips to enhance the learning experience. Several themes run throughout PRIME For Life. The first is an emphasis on the reality that while all of us can influence another person's drinking choices to some degree, none of us can directly control those choices. Therefore, the program is designed to maximize the influence of helping professionals, instructors or family members.
Second, PRIME For Life is based on objective, documented research findings, not opinion, exaggerations or scare tactics. Credibility (of program and instructor/counselor) is a key factor in initiating and maintaining behavior change. Instructors are trained to master the program to maximize program impact.
Third, PRIME For Life focuses on information that is needed to bring about behavior change. In fact, a casual observer might conclude that the program places too little emphasis on process and that there is too much information for the typical participant to remember. Participants are not expected to remember the details of the research cited. The content is only one of the tools used in the persuasion process. What participants will remember are the critical conclusions that come from hearing the information: Who can experience alcohol or drug problems? How do I estimate biological risk? How do I know what low risk is and how far have my alcohol and drug choices progressed? They remember the information they can use, even if some do not use it right away. The carefully selected, research-based information also provides the credibility needed to promote change.