On the Move! Unlawful Narcotics Investigations, Treatment & Education (Operation UNITE)
- Need: To decrease illicit drug and alcohol use in the Central Appalachian region of Kentucky, where many schools had no type of prevention curriculum.
- Intervention: Using engaging simulations and presentations, the project delivers substance use prevention education to middle school and high school students.
- Results: Post-test surveys show that thousands of students are reached through the "On the Move!" project and gain positive knowledge on the dangers of substance use.
"On the Move!" features a mobile prevention classroom,
where students complete the second of a two-part survey
to measure changes in knowledge prior to the mobile
classroom presentation and obtained following the
presentation. Designed for seventh- and tenth-grade
students, the project was designed to mimic risk factors
that involve real-life situations where kids must make
choices about substance use and to deliver substance use
prevention education to youth.
"On the Move!" also features the following activities:
Simulated Impaired Driving Experience
(SIDNE): Students drive a battery-powered
vehicle that simulates the effects of distraction and
impairment from alcohol and other drugs on a motorist's
Fatal Vision Marijuana Driving
Experience: Students wear special goggles that
mimic impaired cognitive functions.
Fatal Vision Tricycle Course: Wearing
special goggles that impair vision, students try to
complete a course on a tricycle.
The Choice Is Yours: In a small-group
setting, students discuss making good choices.
Life with a Record: Students learn
about the criminal justice system and the ways that
poor choices can affect their futures.
Students complete a pre- and post-discussion survey about
topics like bullying and underage drinking. The
University of Kentucky Prevention Research Center
collects the survey results and shares them with school
officials, who can use the information to better tailor
programming for their students' specific needs.
From August 12, 2013, to June 30, 2019, "On the Move!"
has been presented to 39,027 seventh- and tenth-grade
students in 43 counties within Kentucky, Tennessee,
Virginia, and West Virginia.
"Life with a Record" has been presented 76 times to
11,463 students in 45 different schools in 21 Kentucky
Both programs received national recognition at the
National Rx Drug Abuse and Heroin Summit workshops in
2015. Both programs have been discussed in workshops at
the Corporation for National and Community Service (now
AmeriCorps) Regional Conference in Baltimore in 2017 and
the Tennessee Service Learning Commission Conference in
2018. Both programs are often featured in local newspaper
articles and on local TV stations.
- Harsh weather can make it hard or impossible to do
- School schedules, such as reserving gym or parking
lot space, can also be a challenge.
- Since most schools have been virtual during the
COVID-19 pandemic, "On the Move!" has been inactive, and
"Life with a Record" was presented to only 17 students in
Information for both programs can be found on the
UNITE Education Director Debbie Trusty will provide the
curricula for the mobile prevention unit and "Life with a
Record" free of charge to any community, school, or
coalition interested in presenting the information to
Some expenses to consider include:
- Remodeling and maintenance of mobile prevention unit
- Travel expenses for staff and volunteers
- Cost of simulations: One program has a software cost
Children and youth
Substance use and misuse
Wellness, health promotion, and disease prevention
Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
October 27, 2015
Date updated or reviewed
February 1, 2021
Suggested citation: Rural Health Information Hub,
On the Move! Unlawful Narcotics Investigations, Treatment & Education (Operation UNITE) [online]. Rural Health Information Hub. Available at:
[Accessed 21 May 2022]
Please contact the models and innovations contact directly for the most complete and current information
about this program. Summaries of models and innovations are provided by RHIhub for your convenience. The
programs described are not endorsed by RHIhub or by the Federal Office of Rural Health Policy. Each rural
community should consider whether a particular project or approach is a good match for their community’s
needs and capacity. While it is sometimes possible to adapt program components to match your resources, keep
in mind that changes to the program design may impact results.