New Study Shows Long-Term Effects of Drug Prevention
WHITE PLAINS, NY – A new study presented at an international conference in Texas demonstrates the long-term effectiveness of a classroom-based prevention program targeting teen drug use. The study tracked teens who participated in the Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST) program as 7th graders and found that their participation in the program produced long-lasting reduction in drug use 12 years later. The study’s findings were presented in April at the Blueprints for Violence Prevention conference held in San Antonio, Texas.
The study assessed LST’s impact on young adults in their early to mid-20s who received the program when they were in the 7th grade. The results of the study found that participants were 23% less likely to have ever used illicit drugs than were individuals who did not receive the LST program. They were also 22% less likely to have used marijuana and 26% less likely to have engaged in non-medical pill use (such as amphetamines, barbiturates, and tranquilizers). Over 2,000 individuals participated in the follow up study; their average age at the 12-year follow-up was 24. “We are extremely excited by the results of this study,” said Dr. Gilbert J. Botvin, an internationally renowned expert on drug abuse prevention, and developer of the LST program. “This study provides still more evidence that drug use can be prevented using a classroom program taught during the early teen years. More importantly, it also shows that these effects are long-lasting.” Evidence that prevention programs such as LST can produce long-lasting reductions in drug use are particularly important at a time when decreased funding is forcing educators and policy makers to carefully consider how best to allocate dwindling resources. The LST program is a top-rated prevention program that has been proven to reduce tobacco use, binge drinking, and illicit drug use. It has been tested in a series of carefully designed and peer-reviewed studies, and more than 30 papers reporting the results of these studies have been published in top scientific journals. Together, they provide powerful evidence that LST can cut teen tobacco, alcohol, illicit drug use, violence, and delinquency. Research shows that this approach works with a diverse range of students, is flexible, and can be effectively taught by teachers, peers, or health professionals.
The conference was part of a major initiative to identify and promote the use of effective prevention programs. Blueprints for Violence Prevention was established in 1996 by Professor Del Elliott from the Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence (CSPV) at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Blueprints for Violence Prevention monitors the effectiveness of prevention, early intervention, and treatment programs in reducing adolescent violent crime, aggression, delinquency, and substance abuse.
About Botvin LifeSkills Training Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST) is a highly effective evidence-based substance abuse and violence prevention program with more than 30 years of peer-reviewed research behind it. Studies testing its effectiveness have found that LST can reduce the prevalence of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drug use by as much as 80 percent. 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. LST has been used with youth in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and in 33 countries around the world. LST is included in the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) and has been selected for prevention excellence by numerous organizations including 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). Recently LST was selected as a Top Tier prevention program by the Coalition for Evidence-based Policy, an independent, non-partisan, non-profit organization in Washington, DC. Visit www.lifeskillstraining.com for more information.
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