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This guide is designed to help educators and youth workers better understand how programs of alternative activities can effectively be used to supplement school-based efforts to prevent alcohol and other drug use among youth, and to encourage schools to become more involved in program development and implementation. It seeks to clear up some of the confusion over what constitutes a program of alternative activities and what its goals should be, to improve understanding of the potential value of this approach, and to recommend promising strategies for improving the effectiveness of these activities in preventing and reducing use of alcohol and other drugs among youth.

The guide explains the rationale for such programs and outlines the characteristics of good activities. It then describes strategies for program implementation and highlights at the end of the report, a number of promising programs that have put tl1e ideas into action. Most of these programs are comprehensive, collaborative efforts to offer high-risk youth a variety of supervised, constructive activities on a regular basis. These programs promote positive youth development and the avoidance of alcohol and other drug use and parent and community involvement in prevention efforts.