Guiding Good Choices

What is Guiding Good Choices?

Guiding Good Choices (CCG) is a drug use prevention program that provides parents of children in grades 4 through 8 (9 to 14 years old) with the knowledge and skills needed to guide their children through early adolescence. It seeks to strengthen and clarify family expectations for behavior, enhance the conditions that promote bonding within the family, and teach skills that allow children to resist drug use successfully. GGC is based on research that shows that consistent, positive parental involvement is important to helping children resist substance use and other antisocial behaviors.

Formerly known as Preparing for the Drug Free Years, this program was revised in 2003 with more family activities and exercises. The current intervention is a five-session curriculum that addresses preventing substance abuse in the family, setting clear family expectations regarding drugs and alcohol, avoiding trouble, managing family conflict, and strengthening family bonds.

What are the benefits of Guiding Good Choices?

The goal of the Guiding Good Choices program is to prevent substance abuse among teens by teaching parents effective family management and communication skills before their children enter adolescence. The program has been found to:

  • reduce current alcohol use by 40.6%
  • reduce the rates of initiation for marijuana use and drunkenness
  • reduce the likelihood that experimental users will advance to heavier use by 54%
  • increase the likelihood that non-users will remain drug-free by 26%
  • reduce the likelihood that young people will commit delinquent acts
  • significantly slow the typical rate at which multiple substance use (alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs)

How does it work?

Guiding Good Choices sessions are interactive and skill based, with opportunities for parents to practice new skills, receive feedback, and use video-based vignettes to demonstrate parenting skills. Families also receive a Family Guide that contains family activities, discussion topics, skill-building exercises, and information on positive parenting.

Typically, over 10 hours of parent participation takes place in five 2-hour workshops. Guided by workbook- and video-based discussion modules, participants learn how to reduce risk, develop healthy beliefs and clear standards, gain refusal skills, manage family conflict, and strengthen family bonds.

Target Audience:

Parents of children in grades 4-8 (ages 9-14).


Teachers, parent educators, and others who are comfortable facilitating workshops for adults.

What training and materials are required for high quality implementation?

Training is available from certified, experienced trainers who will assist in the implementation of the program and help ensure its fidelity. Groups can host a training or individuals can join an already scheduled training.

Materials needed to deliver the program include the core program kit which includes a set of materials for two workshop leaders, and family guides (one per parent/couple).

How do I get more information?

Call toll free: 1-877-896-8532

Or go to the website:

Guiding Good Choices is listed on the National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices