Truth About Drugs - Friends of Narconcon

SAMHSA Evidence-Based Prevention Program

SAMHSA LogoNREPP LogoThe Narconon® Truth About Drugs Video Program

Program Description

First developed by Friends of Narconon Intl. and Narconon International in 1996, the Narconon Truth About Drugs Video Program started as a stand-alone prevention DVD (or VHS) for schools to use to supplement their ongoing prevention efforts.  In 2002, the first edition of the kit was developed.  Currently, the program is a multimedia, 8-session curriculum for middle school and high school students.  It is primarily based on social influence theory, which posits that alcohol and other drug use among young people is strongly influenced by social motives, including both overt and covert pressure from friends and others to conform to what is depicted as the group norm.  The program aims to positively change youths’ attitudes and perceptions of risk in regard to drug use; in part, by correcting false data as well as incorrect impressions presented by the media and other sources.  The curriculum incorporates a unique combination of prevention strategies for addressing the use of tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, and common “hard drugs.”

The Narconon Truth About Drugs Video Program conveys science-based information from diverse fields such as toxicology, forensic science, nutrition, marketing, and pharmacology, in simple terms, through illustrative examples and stories.  The DVDs also feature vignettes of young adults sharing their personal stories of addiction and recovery to illustrate the harms associated with drug use, including the lies they told themselves and others when using and even dealing drugs.  According to the program developer, the Truth About Drugs Video Program has been implemented in 1,000 U.S. high schools, 23 middle schools, 8 elementary schools, and one Girls and Boys Club.

Lennox & Cecchini (2008)
Study Design NarrativeThis study assigned 14 schools in Hawaii and Oklahoma to either the Truth About Drugs intervention group, or to a wait-list comparison group. Participants in the comparison group were assessed at baseline and then at 6 months following baseline. After the 6-month, follow-up assessment, children in the comparison group schools were offered the Truth About Drugs program.
Sample DescriptionA total of 958 students participated in the study. There were 435 students in the intervention group and 523 students int eh comparison group. Study participants ranged in age from 12 to 20 years. Approximately 51% of the students were male (n = 490). With regard to ethnicity/race, students were identified as white (n=435), African American (n=25), Asian (n=290), American Indian (n=90), Native Hawaiian (n=173), other Pacific Islander (n=73), Hispanic or Latino (n=53), Alaska Native (n=8), and other (n=44).

Program Snapshot

Evidence Ratings

Tobacco Use and Disorders

Alcohol Use and Disorders

Cannabis (Non-medical) Use Disorders

Inhalant Use and Disorders

Hallucinogen Use and Disorders

Amphetamine/Stimulant Non-medical Use and Disorders

Cocaine Use and Disorders

Sedative, Hypnotic, Anxiolytic Use and Disorders

Opioid Use and Disorders

Other Substance Use and Disorders

Implementation/Training and Technical Assistance Information

Since the program’s second edition was released in 2011, more than 1,000 high schools and 23 middle schools have implemented the program; more than 100 high schools and 9 middle schools report that they are still using it.  Eight elementary schools requested the curriculum despite concerns about age-appropriateness, and one Boys and Girls Club has implemented it.

The program relies on self-training by providers supported by an Educator’s Guide and Teacher’s DVD, although schools and groups may arrange for a 2-day, onsite training or one that is periodically offered by Friends of Narconon (FON), usually for up to 20 facilitators.  Facilitators deliver the 8-session program in classroom settings to groups of 20-35 youths, within a 6-month period.

The program was designed to be successfully delivered with minimal training, even in locations that may sue non-credentialed individuals.  Implementation materials are required and include 1) an Educator’s Guide; 2) four presentation DVDs; 3) a Teacher’s DVD (required); 4) four “Drug Facts” flyers; and 5) Pre-Post Student Surveys, including subjective student surveys.  A Facilitator Survey is optional and available to return to FON for evaluation.  Facilitators may call a toll-free number for assistance and/or request feedback with returned pre-post student surveys and facilitator surveys.  Optional consulting is available bny arrangement through FON upon request, and for a fee, depending on the need.

For continued learning and quality assurance, toll-free telephone assistance is offered by dedicated School Coordinator to assist with program implementation.  In-person, group educator workshops, conducted by prevention specialists professionally trained in the curriculum methods, are offered at either the Narconon of Oklahoma training facility or at another conference location, on an optional basis.  In addition, in-person consulting assistance with fidelity and/or process quality is available by request.  Fidelity assessment is offered through facilitator feedback surveys that re analyzed against pre-post student surveys.

Dissemination Information

The curriculum kit includes four-color flyers that can be used as awareness brochures and convey some of the program messages to parents and community members.  Each flyer will also be available for free at the program website.

The Truth About Drugs - High School Curriculum

Award Winning Evidence-Based Drug Education Films by Friends of Narconon, Intl

Two films took Platinum and Gold at the prestigious Aurora Awards. The Aurora’s are an international film and video competition that is judged by film industry professionals. To get an Aurora is a very high honor.

Aurora Award - Platinum - Friends of Narconon

Xtasy The Real Story won the prestigious Platinum Aurora Award in the Children and Youth Category.

Aurora Award - Gold - Friends of Narconon

Xtasy The Real Story won the prestigious Platinum Aurora Award in the Children and Youth Category.

Dissemination/Implementation Contact
Friends of Narconon Intl.
Robert Hernandez, President

622 E. Villa Street, Pasadena, CA, 91101


Program Type
Substance abuse prevention


6-12 (Childhood)
13-17 (Adolescent)