|Botvin, G.J., Griffin, K.W., Diaz, T., Scheier, L.M., Williams, C., & Epstein, J.A. (2000). Preventing illicit drug use in adolescents: Long-term follow-up data from a randomized control trial of a school population. Addictive Behaviors, 25, 769-774.
National survey data indicate that illicit drug use has steadily increased among American adolescents since 1992. This upward trend underscores the need for identifying effective prevention approaches capable of reducing the use of both licit and illicit drugs. The present study examined long-term follow-up data from a large-scale randomized prevention trial to determine the extent to which participation in a cognitive-behavioral skills-training prevention program led to less illicit drug use than for untreated controls. Data were collected by mail from 447 individuals who were contacted after the end of the 12th grade, six and a half years after the initial pre-test. Results indicated that students who received the prevention program (Life Skills Training) during junior high school reported less use of illicit drugs than controls. These results also support the hypothesis that illicit drug use can be prevented by targeting the use of gateway drugs such as tobacco and alcohol.