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    October 2009

    Technology and Innovation Development

    Proven Alcohol Prevention Programs Result in UNC Greensboro Start-Up Company

    Research on drug and alcohol prevention done by a faculty member at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro has been incorporated into a start-up company called Prevention Strategies, LLC

    Prevention Strategies, a spinout company from UNCG, is comprised of scientists who are also teachers and parents, and as such are consumed with the safety and well-being of all young people. As a company, they have chosen to dedicate their scientific expertise, knowledge and efforts to the cause of inspiring brighter futures for adolescents and young adults through evidence-based prevention programs. 

    Dr. David Wyrick, an associate professor of public health at UNCG and the president of Prevention Strategies, developed several programs with Dr. Melodie Fearnow-Kenney, the company’s vice president of research and development. These evidence-based drug and alcohol prevention programs are designed to effect important individual characteristics such as correcting erroneous normative beliefs, increasing personal susceptibility to the potential negative consequences of drug and alcohol use and guiding students in developing the skills they need to make better choices.

    Prevention Strategies has been awarded more than a dozen grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop and evaluate prevention programs that have the potential for wide-spread dissemination. These grants have resulted in several effective and innovative prevention programs designed for use with high school and college students.

    The most recently awarded NIH grant provided funding to develop a drug and alcohol prevention program specifically for college student-athletes. myPlaybook, is currently being used by roughly 10,000 freshman NCAA student-athletes. A process evaluation of myPlaybook is currently underway with the NCAA Division I Southern Conference. The evaluation is being sponsored by the Southern Conference, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Center for Drug Free Sport, the UNCG Department of Public Health Education and Prevention Strategies, LLC.

    Prevention Strategies is an example of a University Start-up leveraging innovation into economic growth and wealth generation. UNCG is focused on innovation and the development of products and services no matter where the source of the innovation.

    The company currently employs 12 individuals and is based at the North Campus of Gateway University Research Park, a joint effort of UNCG and N.C. A&T.

    College Level Programs:

    • College ALC – an evidence-based alcohol education program
    • myPlaybook – an evidence-based program designed to prevent alcohol and other drug related harm among college student-athletes

    High School Level Programs:

    • CROSSROADS – a peer-led high school drug prevention program
    • Picture Me – a series of programs currently under development to empower youth to become active participants in community-based prevention efforts


    For further information, please contact:

    Dr. David Wyrick

    Associate Professor

    UNC Greensboro

    (336) 334-4501