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Botvin LifeSkills Training Congratulates New Drug Czar


WHITE PLAINS, NY Top-rated substance abuse and violence prevention program Botvin LifeSkills Training congratulates new drug czar Gil Kerlikowske on his position as Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).

The Senate voted 91-1 to approve Kerlikowske's nomination as director of the ONDCP. During his confirmation hearing, Kerlikowske promised a balanced, science-based approach to fighting illicit-drug use and faced few difficult questions from lawmakers.

"We are very optimistic that Director Kerlikowske will support President Obama's prevention efforts as a way to combat not only drug abuse but also unemployment and crime," said Dr. Gilbert J. Botvin, an internationally known expert on drug abuse prevention and developer of the highly effective LifeSkills Training prevention programs. "Now more than ever, it is imperative that we focus our efforts on science-based prevention, which has been proven to reduce drug use and offers the potential for significant cost savings over time."

Kerlikowske will not serve as a member of the presidential Cabinet but rather, he will have a strong ally in Vice President Joseph Biden, who helped shape federal drug policy while in the Senate. Kerlikowske who was the Chief of Police for Seattle for 9 years, supports combating drug use and crime with enforcement, prevention and treatment.

Historically the ONDCP has focused its prevention efforts on comprehensive drug policies and activities that include evidence-based prevention and early intervention programs.  These programs have resulted in fewer first-time illicit drug users, significant reductions in youth drug use, and an increased perception of the adverse health and social consequences associated with drug use.  Recently, the ONDCP announced plans to award $17 million in grants to community drug prevention coalitions across the country.

About Botvin LifeSkills Training

Botvin LifeSkills Training is a highly effective evidence-based substance abuse and violence prevention program with more than 25 years of peer-reviewed research behind it. The program was developed by Dr. Gilbert J. Botvin, professor of Public Health and Psychiatry at Cornell University's Weill Medical College and director of Cornell's Institute for Prevention Research. LifeSkills Training is included in the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) and has been cited for excellence by numerous organizations including the National the U.S. Department of Education, the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (part of the U.S. Department of Justice). Studies testing its effectiveness have found that the Botvin LifeSkills Training program can reduce the prevalence of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drug use by as much as 80 percent. Visit for more information.

Media Contact:

Paulina Kalaj

(914) 220-9431

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