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Our History

pri history graphic

PRI was founded in 1983 by Ray Daugherty and Terry O'Bryan and the doors officially opened in April of 1984. PRI's first program was Talking With Your Kids About Alcohol (TWYKAA), which had its roots in work Ray had done at the Kentucky Alcoholism Council (KAC) between 1978 and 1983. The goal of this program was to impact the drinking of both adults and their teens. An evaluation conducted by KAC and Norman VanTubergen, Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky found significant reductions in the drinking of adults going through the program and reductions in the drinking of their teens within six months. Ray and Terry began preparing a new version of the curriculum to get it ready for national use and at the urging of the KAC Board, founded PRI as a nonprofit a few months later.

Using a research-based approach grounded solidly in the gentle, non-judgmental approach that communication researchers had found to be persuasive in changing attitudes and behavior, the PRI program quickly found a place in communities across America and beyond. Instructors quickly started requesting versions of the program for diverse audiences such as college students, military, and DUI offender classes. Soon the program was expanded to become what would be known as the Talking About Alcohol and Drugs Series.

Deep in the corporate DNA of PRI is a commitment to being research-based and a commitment to providing quality programs, quality training, and superior service. We do not just sell books, we build partnerships for change.

In 1987 PRI engaged a firm to conduct interviews with instructors and advise us on how to better meet their needs. An unexpected outcome was a recommendation to change the name of the program. The consulting firm said there were two things that stood out most in their interviews.  First, instructors said that the partnership forged between them and PRI's training and support team is what made everything work. Second, the instructors also emphasized the program was designed for a lifetime, was life saving, and life enhancing. Putting it together, they said people delivering the program said “it is PRI and Me and we are working together to enhance and save lives.” So at the suggestion of the consulting firm, the name of the program was changed to Prime for Life®!

In 2010 Prime For Life® was added to the National Registry of Effective Programs and Practices (NREPP).

Again, those who provide Prime For Life® urged another change in direction for PRI; that we develop a companion program to enhance the treatment experience. PRI responded by enlisting the involvement of leading authorities such as Carlo DiClemente, Ph.D., Theresa Moyers, Ph.D., and Gerald Shulman, M.A. Working with PRI staff, the team developed Prime Solutions®, an evidence-derived program designed to help counselors more easily and effectively implement evidence-based practices in addiction treatment.

PRI continues to focus on its roots of providing the highest possible quality of program, training, and service with its programs being grounded in research and delivered in a persuasive, respectful approach.