Prime For Life

Impact Score20.4
Students Impacted6%

What is PRIME for Life?

The PRIME For Life program (formerly called “On Campus Talking about Alcohol”) is based on the Lifestyle Risk Reduction Model developed by the Prevention Research Institute, Inc. The primary goal of PRIME For Life (PFL) is prevention of any type of alcohol or drug problem.

The PFL program is administered with people of all ages and is designed for groups that typically make high-risk choices such as impaired driving offenders or college students. PFL is often delivered on college campuses to students who have violated campus alcohol or drug policies, or through freshmen health classes or through athletic departments. The program can be tailored and carried out over various time periods. For instance, it may be delivered in one five-hour session or as part of a semester-long class.

When used in the college setting, the program emphasizes forming an accurate understanding of risks associated with drinking and teaches how to decrease risk for alcohol problems by making low-risk drinking choices. The intervention component includes a self-assessment to help students understand and accept the need for change. PFL uses a persuasion-based approach with materials delivered through DVD, workbooks, interactive presentations, and small group discussions.

Research findings

The research studies on PFL were conducted on various populations including alcohol policy violators, first-year students, and members of Greek organizations and using various time periods ranging from a five hour one-time session to multiple sessions conducted over a semester. Researchers at the University of Virginia evaluated the PRIME For Life curriculum with judicially sanctioned students or alcohol policy violators using two 2 ½ -hour sessions (Bruce, 2004). Results found students experienced reduced negative consequences and increased accuracy of knowledge compared to baseline survey responses.

In a study conducted by Matthews (n.d.), first-year students received PFL over the duration of a semester as part of a Drugs, Health and Risk Assessment course. The students in the PFL group experienced a short-term reduction in drinks per week and binge drinking versus the non-intervention group.

A national sorority evaluated the impact of the 6 ½ hour PFL program with sorority women from 20 different chapters (Kallina, 2002). The students who were making the riskiest drinking choices showed the greatest increases in personal perception of risk for developing alcoholism.

Issues and considerations

In order to deliver the PRIME For Life program, attendance and participation in the PRIME For Life new instructor training is required. The training involves group practice teaching experiences with peer and trainer feedback.

Matthews, J. (n.d.). Measuring the impact of participation in HLSC 100 Drugs, Health and Risk Assessment course. Retrieved October 27, 2014 from

Bruce, S. (2004). Evaluation of University of Virginia’s Choices alcohol education program utilizing PRIME For Life 2003-2004. University of Virginia’s Center for Alcohol and Substance Education; Charlottesville, VA. Retrieved October 27, 2014 from

Kallina, W. (2002). PRIME for Life: Evaluation of a national greek sorority. Prevention Research Institute, Inc. Retrieved October 27, 2014 from