Drawing on the power of near-age, young adult peer mentors to deliver youth-centered, strengths-based prevention and early intervention to adolescents over 4-6 sessions.
Over 4-6 sessions, Project Amp mentors guide youth participants through a curriculum that integrates established evidence-based practices, such as motivational interviewing, peer support, and positive youth development.
Youth participants explore their interests, strengths, goals, and social and community supports, as well as their perceptions about physical and mental well-being, alcohol and drug use, stress, and related risks.
Youth participants work with mentors to identify coping strategies and pathways to seek support, and to set and work toward their goals.
The curriculum is racially equitable, culturally responsive, flexible to youth preferences, and adaptable to suit the needs of different communities.
By sharing their own experiences of substance use and related challenges, mentors help adolescents recognize risks early on, build awareness and motivation to change, and garner the personal skills, strategies, and support needed to do so—now and in the future. The utilization of a skilled peer workforce also lessens the burden on clinicians, doctors, and school counselors while providing youth with a safe, near-age adult to talk to.
Project Amp was initially developed and pilot tested in six locations across the United States in urban and rural communities and within school and healthcare settings. Phase 2 research and implementation is ongoing.
We promote valued prevention and early intervention roles for young adult peers, as a strategy for meeting the needs of youth.
We support agencies and systems to define roles, and recruit, trying, supervise, supports, and grow Project Amp mentors.
21 million people needed substance use treatment in 2016, including 1.1 million adolescents.
74% of adults with a substance use disorder began substance use at the age of 17 or younger.
42.5% of adolescents have used substances in the past 12 months.