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Prime For Life® is an evidence-based motivational prevention, intervention and pretreatment program specifically designed for people who might be making high-risk choices. This includes but is not limited to impaired driving offenders, college students, and young people charged with alcohol and/or drug offenses. It is designed to change drinking and drug use behaviors by changing beliefs, attitudes, risk perceptions, motivations, and the knowledge of how to reduce their risk of alcohol and drug related problems throughout their lives. Because Prime For Life® includes both prevention and intervention content, it is also designed in a way that serves universal, selective, and indicated audiences with program delivery options for each.

Universal audiences are those without any known increased risk factors who might only need the risk reduction information provided in the prevention component. Some examples of potential universal audiences are all incoming freshman at a university, or employees at a company that wants to provide preventative programming to its personnel. Though universal audiences typically receive prevention information, many can also benefit from participating in the intervention component.

Selective audiences are those who might have signs of increased risk for developing problems such as youth with truancy issues or family members of individuals with substance use problems. Selective audiences will likely benefit from receiving both the prevention and intervention components in Prime For Life®.

Indicated groups are those already making high-risk alcohol or drug choices and who might be exhibiting signs of problems. Such individuals benefit from a more intensive version of Prime For Life® and might even participate in it as a pretreatment program. For example, many youth in juvenile justice facilities and DUI offenders across the U.S. often receive 12 to 20 hours of “therapeutic education” content such as Prime For Life®.


Prime For Life® is an evidence-based intervention.

Prime For Life® is listed on the National Registry of Evidenced-based Programs and Practices (NREPP). This prestigious list is reserved for those few programs that have demonstrated effectiveness through independent scientific evaluation. Careful attention to research on how people change, and intensive field testing helped us develop effective protocols for Prime For Life® delivery. When implemented in accordance with protocols, Prime For Life® is effective in changing high-risk attitudes, beliefs, risk perceptions and behaviors, and has been shown to reduce recidivism in the DUI population.

Prime For Life® is nonjudgmental.

Few people change if they feel judged. In Prime For Life® we pay careful attention to words and experiences that promote inclusion, openness, and a lack of judgment. Instructors are carefully trained to create and atmosphere that makes it safe for people to openly explore, and inwardly examine how their choices are affecting their lives. Prime For Life® does not moralize or dictate. We believe people have reasons for their beliefs and behaviors and that with new understanding, self-evaluation, and support for change, most people are willing to consider change. No scare tactics…but deep self-evaluation.

Why is the combination of new understanding with the use of a motivational approach important?

An understanding of the potential risks associated with high-risk alcohol and drug choices is an important tool for protecting what we value. When presented in a non-judgmental way, carefully selected information can provoke new thinking and provide individuals with a solid basis for making decisions about their own drinking and drug use.

Results from more than 28 years of instructors teaching Prime For Life® indicate that the combination is effective in helping participants change their high-risk behaviors. Prime For Life® has also been shown to reduce recidivism and increase abstinence.


  • Universal, selective, and indicated audiences
  • Court-referred impaired driving offenders (e.g., DUI, DWI, OUI)
  • Individuals referred by a court for other reasons (e.g., possession, public intoxication, diversion program)
  • Youth and young adults ages 13 to 20 who are engaging in drinking and drug use or in a group likely to engage in these behaviors
  • College campuses
  • Parents who have youth participating in court diversion or juvenile justice programs
  • U.S. Army policy violators and referrals
  • U.S. Coast Guard policy violators and referrals
  • U.S. Marine Corps policy violators and referrals

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