Keepin It Real

Brief Program Description

keepin’ it REAL (kiR) is a scientifically proven, effective substance use prevention and social and emotional competency enhancing program designed to focus on the competencies linked to preventing substance use and abuse. Featured as a cost-effective and powerful program by the U.S. Surgeon General in 2016, this program is based on the real stories of young adolescents and program videos serve to providing social modeling of effective strategies. Youth have opportunities to create their own media as part of the program. There are three versions of the program: multicultural, rural, and Spanish. The lessons are designed to promote interaction among the students as well as between the students and teachers, so that students are involved in their own learning. Students also learn how to assess risk, value their perceptions and feelings, and communicate effectively.

Specific Outcomes

Evaluation studies demonstrate that kiR:

  • Reduces rates of alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use by as much as 45%
  • Leads to discontinuation of use. Rates of discontinuing all substance use was 61% higher for program participants than for students who didn’t receive the program
  • Leads to more realistic perceptions of peer use, increases anti-substance use attitudes, increases efficacy in resisting offers of substances, improves relationship skills, self-awareness, and responsible decision-making.
Program Details
Type of Program: Prevention
Audience Size: Minimum 6 / Maximum 50
# of Lessons: 10 (with optional 4 booster lessons)
Length of Sessions: 45 minutes
Frequency of Implementation: Once per week
Duration of Implementation (in weeks) 10 weeks
Recommended intervention site (school,
community, both)
School and Community
Audience Characteristics
Age Range Youth ages 11-15
Grade 6 – 9 Grade
Gender Both Male & Female

How it Works

keepin’ it REAL consists of ten 45-minutes lessons including five videos. kiR enhances social, psychological, and emotional competencies that serve to protect youth from substance use, provides visual behavioral models, and practice opportunities for the application of skills. Utilizing a “from kids…through kids…to kids” approach, all lessons, including role-play scenarios and decision-making applications, are based on real teens’ stories. An optional booster intervention includes four 40-minute lessons teaching youth to develop their own prevention media such as posters and videos. The topics of the lessons include: Options and Choices, Risks, Communication and Conflict, Refuse, Explain, Avoid, Leave, Norms, Dealing with Feelings, Support Networks.

Keepin it real How it works

Required Materials

BUNDLE includes:

  • Teacher manual (Powerpoint slides, Lesson plans)
  • Student workbooks
  • 5 Video files
  • Fillable student completion certificates


Option #1: Print Materials

  • $300 (includes 5 student workbooks)
  • $35 per 5-pack student workbooks

Option #2: Digital Materials

  • $500 (Two-year site license)
  • All materials provided in digital format. License to print copies of student materials for two-years. No limit on number of students.

Optional Materials:

Make your own Media!

Four 40-minute lesson plans designed to teach students step-by-step how to design their own prevention media such as videos or posters.

Cost: Free with Purchase

Training Requirement (Preferred, but Not Required):

The second day of a 2-day training focuses on participants teaching mock lessons and receiving feedback.

  • 1-Day Training: $2,000 plus travel
  • 2-Day Training Cost: $2,500 plus travel
  • Min/Max Number of training participants: Minimum 1; Maximum 25

Additional Information

REAL Prevention Website:

Among the top evidence-based substance use prevention programs in the U.S. according to the Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs and Health.

Program Contact

For Training, Program Information, & Materials Contact: