Alcohol Literacy Challenge™

The Alcohol Literacy Challenge™

The ALC revolutionizes classroom-based prevention by changing students’ beliefs about the effects of alcohol and reducing the quantity and frequency of alcohol use – in only 1 classroom session lasting just 50-90 minutes depending on grade level. The ALC is available in 5 age appropriate lessons for students in 5th-6th grade, 7th-8th grade, high school & college, as well as for parents who want to teach this groundbreaking prevention strategy to their children.

SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence Based Programs & Practices (NREPP) has reviewed the ALC, giving it a 3.3 (out of 4) quality of research rating and a 3.5 readiness for dissemination rating. Not only is the ALC proven effective, it’s cost effective – taking far less time and, after the initial training, costing less per student than any other classroom youth alcohol prevention program reviewed by NREPP.


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At a Glance

  • Only a single classroom sessions required
  • Backed by Six Studies Validating it's effectiveness
  • Continuously improved based on feedback from over 10 years of field testing
  • Now used by schools and prevention programs in 14 States

nrepp ALC logo

The ALC research studies reviewed by NREPP received a 3.3 out of 4 points rating for their Quality of Research!


Based on 40 years of research reported in nearly 1,000 published studies, the Alcohol Literacy Challenge™ provides prevention lessons students love. Using cutting edge brain science & media literacy education about alcohol marketing and social media, the ALC is the 1st classroom-based alcohol prevention program provide to reduce underage and binge drinking in a single 50-90 minute lesson.

“During a one-time ALC lesson, students learn about standard drinks, the range of alcohol expectancies, the difference between pharmacological effects and placebo effects, and efforts by alcohol companies to portray positive alcohol expectancies in advertisements.”

“Some of the most desired effects—the arousing, positive, and pro-social effects—are placebo effects rather than pharmacological ones. ALC aims to correct erroneous beliefs about the effects of alcohol, decreasing positive and increasing negative expectancies. These shifts in expectancies have been shown to predict lower levels of alcohol use.”

From the National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs & Practices Review of the Alcohol Literacy Challenge



January 1999

Dr. DeBenedittis launches Peter D. & Company

A media literacy education firm specializing in substance abuse prevention. Over the next 5 years he writes 11 volumes of youth prevention curriculum and speaks to just under a quarter million students. His curricula became widely used across America.

Spring 2003

Researchers at the University of Central Florida release the first study

Showing that challenging alcohol expectancies (i.e. children’s beliefs about the effects of drinking) can be done in a single classroom session. Nearly 1,000 studies since the 1960s have shown that when drinking beliefs change, behavior follows and students drink less.

Summer 2005

The Alcohol Literacy Challenge™ is born

Combining the latest research on how to challenge alcohol expectancies with proven media literacy education techniques. “It was like finding the Holy Grail,” Dr. D. said. “Including the brain science piece of Alcohol Expectancy Theory provided the missing link needed to take the prevention effectiveness of media literacy lessons to a whole new level.”

Spring 2006-Fall 2008

The first study controlled study is released

Showing High School students receiving the Alcohol Literacy Challenge™ drink significantly less than their peers. Two more studies are released finding the ALC is similarly effective for college students

Spring 2012

SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence Based Programs & Practices publishes its review.

NREPP gave the ALC a 3.3 (out of 4) point rating for the Quality of Research validating it and a 3.5 rating for its Readiness for Dissemination. Few NREPP reviews give research quality ratings above the mid twos. Have a 3.3 rating gives high confidence when we say: The Alcohol Literacy Challenge™ is proven to reduce underage & binge drinking in a single session.

Summer 2016

Dr. DeBenedittis releases the 5th rewrite of the original curriculum.

Drawing from his continuous focus groups testing on ways to improve the ALC, Dr. DeBenedittis releases the 5th rewrite of the original curriculum. It features a more visually interesting style and addresses social media’s role in forming youth’s beliefs about alcohol. It also uses more movies and custom animations to convey key teaching points. The result is a more engaging experience for students with presenter better fidelity.


Latest News

This blog contains research, information and educational materials about how media literacy is used for science-based prevention.



"The ALC is engaging, its efficient and effective…try it out"

"I nicknamed the program “Too smart to be fooled” because that is what it teaches 5th Graders to be…"

"A super fun curriculum which we are going to offer to 5th Graders through to 12th Grade and also show their Parents. "

Alvin Lindsay Behavior Health Department,
Fort Valley State University,
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Rachel Struebing Prevention Coordinator,
Drug Free Charlotte County,
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Amanda Hampton Family Services and Prevention
Education Programs Manager,
Madison County, Ohio
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Contact Us

Contact Dr. DeBenedittis

1919 Morris Pl Santa Fe NM 87505
(505) 670-9797

Sales or Demonstrations

For sales questions or to receive a demonstration copy of the ALC, please contact

Tracy Juechter

(505) 690-3272

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