Too Good for Drugs (TGFD)

About This Program

Target Population: Children and adolescents ages 5-17

For children/adolescents ages: 5 – 17

Program Overview

TGFD is designed to be a developmentally appropriate prevention program that builds resiliency in a positive way by teaching social competence and problem solving skills. It aims to increase social and emotional competencies, mitigate the risk factors, and build the protective factors related to substance use and other problem behaviors among students of all ages. Substance use topics are discussed in the context of expectations, peer pressure and influence, and the media. Complex social challenges and influences that present a greater risk for escapism and risky behavior are explored and met with strategies for managing them in a positive, healthy way. Interactive games and activities create an experiential learning environment so students can learn and apply the skills in the classroom setting.

The TGFD approach attempts to protect students against social pressures to use alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs (ATOD). The program draws on theoretical constructs that indicate positive socialization is achieved when children can both participate in conforming, prosocial activities and develop the skills necessary for successful involvement.

Program Goals

The goals of Too Good for Drugs (TGFD) are:

  • Increased social and emotional competency (skills)
  • Enhanced personal efficacy
  • Reduced positive attitudes toward ATOD use
  • Increased healthy perceived norms regarding ATOD use
  • Increased perceived harm/risk regarding ATOD use
  • Reduced intention to use ATOD
  • Increased attachment to the school/instructor

Essential Components

The essential components of Too Good for Drugs (TGFD) include:

  • Youth participate in an interactive classroom setting designed to instruct, review, and reinforce the skills and social constructs built into the lessons. Each lesson builds upon the previous to stack the learning and continue to reinforce for retention and immediate application.
  • Development and strengthening of personal and interpersonal skills in:
    • Goal setting
    • Decision making
    • Effective communication
    • Prosocial bonding
    • Respect for self and others
    • Managing emotions
    • Normative expectancies
  • Additional skills and developmental topics build on the core social skill set to broaden the student’s sense of self-efficacy and confidence and are tailored to the intellectual, cognitive, and social development of the student. Depending on the applicable developmental level, areas of focus include:
    • Media Literacy and Media Influence
    • Resisting Peer Pressure
    • Understanding Peer Influence
    • Understanding Addiction
    • Complex Social and Dating Relationships
    • Exploring Risk Taking and Differentiating Healthy and Unhealthy Risks
  • The curriculum emphasizes the negative consequences of drug use and the benefits of a drug-free lifestyle, thereby working to build student resiliency to inappropriate and harmful drug use. ATOD topics include:
    • Prescription and Over-the-Counter (OTC) Drugs
    • Stimulants
    • Depressants
    • Alcohol
    • Nicotine including Tobacco and Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS)
    • Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, the chemical that causes most of marijuana's psychological effects) and Marijuana

Program Delivery

Child/Adolescent Services

Too Good for Drugs (TGFD) directly provides services to children/adolescents and addresses the following:

  • Poor social skills, peer rejection, inappropriate social behaviors, friends who engage in problem behaviors

Recommended Intensity:

One weekly 30- to 50-minute class session

Recommended Duration:

10 Weeks per grade level

Delivery Settings

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Community Agency
  • Group Home
  • Residential Care Facility
  • School


Too Good for Drugs (TGFD) includes a homework component:

Each of the ten lessons at each grade level includes a Home Workout. This is a quick take-home lesson on the lesson topic, inviting the family to support, practice, and reinforce what their child is learning in the program.


Too Good for Drugs (TGFD) has materials available in a language other than English:


For information on which materials are available in this language, please check on the program's website or contact the program representative (contact information is listed at the bottom of this page).

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

  • The Too Good for Drugs program kit for the grade level(s) of the class or students
  • A Student Workbook for each student
  • A classroom-type setting space that can accommodate individual, paired, and group work
  • A blackboard or white board
  • Access to a photocopier
  • A CD or DVD player for some content at certain grade levels

Education and Training

Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications

Too Good for Drugs is designed to be provided by professionals holding a minimum of a bachelor's degree, including teachers, guidance counselors, social workers, resource officers, or prevention specialists within a school system or community agency.

Education and Training Resources

There is a manual that describes how to implement this program , and there is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
Training is obtained:

Program implementation is supported by several modes of training:

  • Customized on-site training to facilitate the agency climate, strategies for connecting with families and communities, and curriculum training
  • Group curriculum training provided at regional settings
  • Technical assistance and implementation support via email, teleconference, or videoconference
Number of days/hours:

On-Site Curriculum Training sessions are a provided in single-day sessions and can be customized to suit the needs of the implementation site. These trainings are offered at the implementation site or at a site determined by the implementing agency.

Open Enrollment Curriculum Training sessions are provided in a single day and in a grade-level group structure. These trainings are offered at various locations throughout the year.

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

Child Welfare Outcome: Child/Family Well-Being

Hall, B. W., Bacon, T. P., & Ferron, J. M. (2014). Randomized controlled evaluation of the Too Good for Drugs Prevention Program: Impact on adolescents at different risk levels for drug use. Journal of Drug Education, 43(3), 277-300. doi:10.2190/DE.43.3.e

Type of Study: Randomized controlled trial
Number of Participants: 10,762


  • Age — 11-14 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — 38% White, 30% Hispanic, 19% Black, 10% Multiracial, and 3% Asian
  • Gender — 49% Female
  • Status — Participants were 6th grade students who were identified as low, moderate, or high risk for drug usage based on their rates of behaviors reported prior to the start of the study.

Location/Institution: One of the largest school districts in Florida

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
The purpose of the study was to examine the effectiveness of the Too Good for Drugs (TGFD) program in impacting young people’s substance and violence use intentions, attitudes, and perceptions. This study used a stratified randomized treatment-control design whereby 40 middle schools in a large school district were paired on the basis of key demographic factors for each school’s entering 6th-grade population. Sixth graders from 20 middle schools were randomly assigned to receive the intervention and those from 20 paired middle schools assigned to serve as controls. Measures utilized included the Student Behavior and Risk and Protective Factor Survey (SBRPFS), the Lesson Implementation Checklist (LIC), and the Within School Activities Form (WSAF). Results indicated that the TGFD to have a suppressive effect on reported drug use behavior and a strengthening effect on risk and protective (R&P) outcomes among high-risk students following treatment and 6 months later. Some effects were also found for low- and moderate-risk students. Limitations include generalizing the findings to more academically and economically challenged school setting, reliance on self-reported measures, and length of follow-up.

Length of postintervention follow-up: 6 months.

Additional References

No reference materials are currently available for Too Good for Drugs (TGFD).

Contact Information

Annisha Sellars
Agency/Affiliation: C.E. Mendez Foundation
Phone: (800) 750-0986

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: March 2019

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: February 2019

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: July 2019