This six year study of 11,000 teenagers aimed to measure the success and cost-effectiveness of prescription drug abuse prevention efforts. Researchers at Duke and Pennsylvania State universities found huge differences in the effectiveness of different programmes. As Prevention Hub has reported in several other prevention stories, the best results came from pairing a school-based programme with a home-based intervention. Given the role of home in this problem, it is maybe unsurprising that school based programmes alone were generally ineffective, although the authors highlight success for the LifeSkills Training program, which teaches social skills that build competence and encourage assertiveness. This program was also the most cost-effective…
The illegal use of prescription drugs is on the rise, but efforts to stop prescription drug abuse through legislation and policing have proven ineffective. New research may offer some keys to solving this problem.
As more people misuse prescription drugs, the old paradigm of interdiction, or attempting to stop the importation of drugs, is becoming less relevant. We need new strategies in our society…
During a recent Mobilizing the Community meeting at Carver Middle High School in Massachusetts, about 95 parents and other residents discussed strengthening the school and community connection to prevent drug use.
Through a grant, eighth-graders are being introduced to the Botvin LifeSkills Training substance abuse and violence prevention curriculum program over 10 weeks, and teachers are learning the curriculum so they can teach the program to other teachers so it’s taught to all grades.
The Board of State and Community Corrections recently awarded a grant to Apple Valley’s Juvenile Gang Prevention deputy to continue for at least two more years and to initiate or expand youth programs aimed at reducing juvenile gang crime.
The grant will benefit approximately 6,500 children in Apple Valley by funding programs such as Botvin LifeSkills Training.
New research shows that a school-based prevention program can help in the fight against prescription drug abuse among teens. A study from Duke and Penn State Universities found that while the effectiveness of school-based programs differ, one program was not only effective when used by itself but also among the most cost-effective programs studied. That program, Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST), has been extensively tested and proven effective in preventing violence, and the use of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs. The LST program, implemented in schools all over the U.S. and in 36 countries around the world, fosters youth development by teaching personal coping skills, general social skills, and skills for resisting pressures to smoke, drink, use drugs, and engage in other risk behaviors.he study is among the first to measure the success and cost-effectiveness of prescription drug abuse prevention efforts.
Researchers studied 11,000 teenagers at 28 rural public school districts in Iowa and Pennsylvania for six years. The best results came from pairing a school program such as Botvin LifeSkills Training with a family intervention, resulting in a 10% decrease in abuse rates. The Botvin LifeSkills Training program was the only school program that was effective when used by itself and resulted in lower drug abuse rates among teens.
“It’s clear that effective prevention programs offer the potential for producing a powerful public health benefit by helping teens avoid the damaging effects of prescription drug abuse. This new report proves that it has the added benefit of making good economic sense,” said Dr. Gilbert J. Botvin, professor emeritus at Cornell University’s Weill Medical College and developer of the LST program. “A relatively small upfront investment can yield tremendous health and economic benefits in terms of both the immediate- and long-term positive effects our program has on the students who participate in it.”
The study notes that, by conservative estimates, prescription drug abusers cost society an average of $7,500 each year for treatment and other expenses. Botvin LifeSkills Training was also among the most cost-effective programs studied. Research shows that LST can save as much as $38 for every dollar spent.
Programs that aim to curb teen prescription drug abuse have vastly differing effectiveness, ranging from big drops in drug abuse to no measurable effect, according to a new study of 11,000 teenagers by researchers at Duke and Pennsylvania State universities.
The best results came from pairing a school-based program with a home-based intervention, resulting in a 10 percent decrease in abuse rates. By contrast, most school-based programs were ineffective when used by themselves, with just one exception.
The study found that only one school-based program was effective when used by itself. The Botvin LifeSkills Training program resulted in 4 percent lower drug abuse rates, compared with a control group. The 18-session course teaches social skills that build competence and encourage assertiveness. LifeSkills Training was also among the most cost-effective programs studied, costing an average of $15 per child. By contrast, the study notes that prescription drug abusers cost society an average of $7,500 each for treatment and other expenses, by conservative estimates.
The six-year study is among the first to measure the success and cost-effectiveness of prescription drug abuse prevention efforts.
Percentage of U.S. 12th Graders Who Perceive a Great Risk of Regular Marijuana Use At Lowest Level Since 1978February 10, 2014
The percentage of 12th grade students who perceive regular marijuana use to be a great risk continues to decrease, according to the most recent data from the national Monitoring the Future (MTF) study. After peaking in the early 1990s, the perceived risk of physical or other harm from regular marijuana use decreased for a few years, then leveled off for a decade before beginning to decline again in 2007. In 2013, 40% of 12th graders thought that using marijuana regularly posed a great risk, the lowest level since the record low of 35% in 1978.
According to the study’s author, “Perceived risk—namely the risk to the user that teenagers associate with a drug—has been a lead indicator of use, both for marijuana and other drugs, and it has continued its sharp decline in 2013 among teens. This could foretell further increases in use in the future” (p. 2). In 2013, 23% of 12th graders reported using marijuana in the past month, the highest level since 1999, but still lower than the peak of 37% reached in 1978 (see CESAR FAX, Volume 23, Issue 3).
Adapted by CESAR from University of Michigan, “American Teens More Cautious About Using Synthetic Drugs,” Monitoring the Future National Press Release, December 18, 2013. Available online at http://www.monitoringthefuture.org/data/13data.html#2013data-drugs
Originally posted on Health & Family:
With each passing day, it seems, smoking pot becomes less and less stigmatized in our society.
In a much-buzzed-about piece in The New Yorker this week, President Obama suggested making pot legal in large part to correct the vast inequities that minorities face in terms of cannabis-related arrests and imprisonment. Besides, said the president, who was known to smoke his fair share of weed back in the day, “I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol” for the individual user.
Even the straight-laced Bill Gatesrecently announced his support of legalization. And this year’s Super Bowl has been dubbed the “Super Doobie Bowl,” a reference to the fact that the teams vying for the NFL championship, the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks, hail from the two states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use. Mainstream websites are circulating marijuana-laced game-day snack recipes. It won’t be long before Martha Stewart…
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Comments made by President Obama about marijuana in a recent interview with The New Yorker made headlines earlier this week. In response, CADCA issued a statement from Gen. Arthur Dean, CADCA’s Chairman and CEO.
“CADCA is concerned that only a portion of what the President said during his interview has made headlines, when in fact the President expressed some serious concerns about marijuana legalization. CADCA believes that substance abuse is a public health concern and has wide-reaching negative effects on our young people and society. So we agree with President Obama’s comment that marijuana use is a ‘bad habit’, a ‘bad idea and a waste of time’. We also echo the President’s sentiment that the case for marijuana legalization is ‘overstated’ and will not solve the many social problems our society faces,” Gen. Dean said. “The President also noted that the marijuana legalization experiments in Colorado and Washington might create a ‘slippery slope’ where people begin suggesting that we legalize harder drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine. CADCA couldn’t agree more.”
“However, as an organization that represents community coalitions working to reduce drug use among our nation’s youth, CADCA is deeply concerned with the President’s comment that marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol. The two leading causes of preventable death in the U.S. are alcohol and tobacco. Can adding another legal drug and creating another legal drug industry really be in our country’s best interest? We think not.”
Click here to view the full statement.
New York, Los Angeles and Chicago are considering adding e-cigarettes to their public smoking bans. Public health officials in those cities say the devices are harmful and can be a gateway to smoking regular cigarettes, The Wall Street Journal reports.
New York’s City Council is scheduled to vote today on the e-cigarette ban. If passed, e-cigarettes would be prohibited in public places including restaurants, bars, stores and some parks. Legislators in Los Angeles and Chicago could vote on e-cigarette bans as early as January.
Supporters of e-cigarettes say they can help smokers quit, and that there is no evidence vapors produced by the devices are toxic. Many scientists say e-cigarettes are less harmful than regular cigarettes.
Critics of the devices say secondhand vapor is a pollutant, and e-cigarettes can get more people addicted to nicotine. “There are reasonable concerns and reasons for folding them into the existing clean-air framework for cigarettes,” Tim McAfee, Director of the Office on Smoking and Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, told the newspaper.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will propose rules on regulating e-cigarettes. The FDA is expected to consider e-cigarettes as tobacco products, which will allow the agency to provide the same federal oversight that applies to cigarettes, chewing tobacco, cigarette tobacco, and roll-your-own tobacco. E-cigarettes could be subjected to the same requirements for disclosure of ingredients, manufacturing quality and restrictions on sales to minors that apply to regular cigarettes. The article notes the FDA proposal is expected to be published in coming weeks.
A study published earlier this week suggests people who use e-cigarettes indoors may be exposing the people around them to nicotine. The amount of secondhand nicotine exposure from e-cigarettes is much smaller than from traditional cigarettes, the researchers concluded.