Every Dollar Spent on Prevention Can Save up to $50 | Prevention Hub

April 17, 2014

A recent study by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy investigates the effectiveness of drug abuse and violence prevention programmes. Among the programmes the Botvin LifeSkills Training, which is used in 37 countries around the world, yielded the most promising results, saving $50 for every dollar spent. The school-based model proves that prevention programmes do not only provide enormous health benefits to young people, but also economic advantages for the communities they live in. Mentor USA uses the programme as part of their school-based prevention strategy.

Botvin LifeSkills Training equips students aged 5 to 18 with the relevant skills to deal with stressful situations and helps boost their self-esteem. By engaging with the programme, students learn about the negative consequences of substance abuse and become familiar with healthy alternatives.

via Every Dollar Spent on Prevention Can Save up to $50 | Prevention Hub.

Three Ohio Agencies Win Drug Prevention Grants

April 11, 2014

NEW PHILADELPHIA  Agencies in three area counties have received grants from the state to strengthen school-based alcohol and drug prevention programs.

The Building Youth Resiliency grants are a part of Start Talking!, Ohio’s new youth drug prevention initiative. The program is a partnership between the Office of the First Lady, the Governor’s Office of Faith-Base Initiatives and the departments of Aging, Job and Family Services and Mental Health and Addiction Services and targets at-risk students in grades five through nine.

In Tuscarawas County, Personal and Family Counseling Services is receiving a grant of $12,875 to provide the Botvin LifeSkills Training Program to 190 fifth- and sixth-grade students in Newcomerstown Exempted Village Schools and Conotton Valley Union Local Schools.

The program will begin in the 2014-15 school year.

Jodi Salvo, coordinator of the Taking It to the Schools program, said Botvin is the leading school-based prevention education program used in the U.S.

Facilitators from Personal and Family Counseling meet with students once a week for eight weeks. Each week, they discuss a different topic, such as self-esteem and assertiveness.

On the eighth week, parents or caregivers are invited to come to the school for a graduation ceremony, she said. “It gives us the opportunity to show the parents what we discussed.”

via LifeSkills Training: News Detail.

New Report Highlights the Economic Power of Prevention: LifeSkills Training Program Saves $50 for Every $1 Spent

April 10, 2014
Investing in prevention makes great economic sense, according to a new study. The report, part of a series of economic studies conducted by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP), determined that communities will reap substantial savings by using effective drug abuse and violence prevention programs. Among the most dramatic findings were those for a drug abuse and violence prevention program called Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST). Researchers found that the LST program produced a $50 benefit for every $1 invested–yielding the highest return on investment of any substance abuse prevention curriculum studied.

“We know that effective prevention programs can produce a powerful public health benefit by helping teens avoid the damaging effects of tobacco, alcohol, illicit drug abuse, and violence. This updated report proves that it has the added benefit of also 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 in a proven prevention program such as LST can yield tremendous health and economic benefits in terms of both the positive health effects it provides students and the potential cost savings for communities and the larger society.”

Tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drug abuse cost the United States over $500 billion a year. Therefore, the nationwide use of prevention programs that have been tested and proven effective offer considerable economic benefits at a time when health costs are spiraling higher each year. Unfortunately, surveys show that most schools are not using programs proven to work. And just as programs vary in effectiveness, they also vary in their costs, economic benefits, and potential return on investment.  Encouraging the use of tested and effective prevention programs shown to produce a high return on investment can produce substantial savings and help cut health costs throughout the country.

Washington State Institute for Public Policy provided the results of new analyses in their most recent report entitled “Return on Investment: Evidence-Based Options to Improve Statewide Outcomes.” The report, similar to an investment advisor’s “buy-sell” list, contains current recommendations on policy options that can give taxpayers a good return on their investment (“buys”), as well as those that apparently cannot (“sells”). Investing in LST represents a 50-to-1 return to communities in terms of reduced corrections costs, welfare and social services burdens, drug and mental health treatment, and increased employment and tax revenue. This 50-to-1 return is an increase over the last report in April 2012 of a 38-to-1 return.

About Botvin LifeSkills Training

Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST) is an evidence-based substance abuse and violence prevention program used in schools and communities throughout the U.S. and in 36 countries around the world. LST has been extensively tested and proven to reduce tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drug use by as much as 80%. It is effective when implemented using different delivery formats, when taught by different providers, and when delivered to different populations. It works with elementary school, middle school, and high school students. Long-term follow-up studies also show that it produces prevention effects that are durable and long-lasting. For more information call 800-293-4969 or visit www.lifeskillstraining.com.


Paulina Kalaj



via LifeSkills Training: Press Releases.

Coshocton Behavioral Health Awarded Grant to Teach LST

April 9, 2014

Ohio’s putting its money — $1.5 million across 19 counties — where its mouth is for the Start Talking! campaign, which encourages children to avoid drugs by overcoming peer pressure and stresses that often lead to addiction.

Coshocton Behavioral Health Choices will receive $62,256 to teach students in fifth through ninth grades at Coshocton City, Ridgewood Local and River View Local schools how to reduce the risks of alcohol and drug abuse, according to a Monday Start Talking!

The program, called Life­Skills Training, addresses the social and psychological factors that can lead to substance abuse. Parents also will receive information twice monthly about how they can help keep their children drug free.

via LifeSkills Training: News Detail.

Ohio Grants Target Anti-Drug Programs For Kids

April 8, 2014

A Licking County agency will receive $62,448 to provide the LifeSkills Training program to all 9th-grade students in Newark City Schools. Pathways of Central Ohio will also deliver the evidenced-based curriculum to students in six other Licking County schools.

Kristin McCloud, executive director of Pathways of Central Ohio says the curriculum focuses on relationships and self-esteem.

via LifeSkills Training: News Detail.

ASCD and HHS/CDC Announce Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Model

April 2, 2014

ASCD, a global community dedicated to excellence in learning, teaching, and leading, announced today the new Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model that is recommended as a strategy for improving students’ health and learning in our schools. Developed by ASCD and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in collaboration with key leaders from education, public health, and school health fields, the new model combines and builds on elements of the traditional coordinated school health approach and the whole child framework to strengthen a unified and collaborative approach to learning and health.

A whole child approach, which ensures that each student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged, sets the standard for comprehensive, sustainable school improvement and provides for long-term student success. The new WSCC model responds to the call for greater alignment, integration, and collaboration between education and health to improve each child’s cognitive, physical, social, and emotional development.

The model incorporates the components of an effective school health program and the tenets of the whole child approach to education to address the symbiotic relationship between learning and health. In doing so, the model continues the focus of the traditional coordinated school health approach but aligns it with the structure, framework, and objectives of education. This is showcased by the expanded components focusing additional attention on the social and emotional climate of the school and classroom environments and the pivotal role that community involvement plays in the growth and development of our youth.

The Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child model focuses its attention on the child, emphasizing a schoolwide approach and acknowledging learning, health, and the school as being a part and reflection of the local community. Because they have contact with 95 percent of U.S. children ages 5–17, schools are the primary institution responsible for childhood development, after the family. It is essential that schools have an effective and comprehensive school health model in place during these critical years of social, psychological, physical, and intellectual development.

Whereas the traditional coordinated school health model contained eight components, the WSCC contains 10, expanding Health and Safe School Environment and Family/Community Involvement into four distinct components:

-Social and Emotional Climate

-Physical Environment

-Family Engagement

-Community Involvement

This change marks the need for greater emphasis on both the psychosocial and physical environment as well as the ever-increasing roles that community agencies and families must play. Finally, this new model also addresses the need to engage students as active participants in their learning and health.

CDC will be integrating this new model into its school health initiatives, placing ASCD’s whole child framework at the center of health and education alignment in school settings. For more information about CDC’s school health initiatives, visit www.cdc.gov/healthyyouth.

For more information about ASCD’s Whole Child Initiative, visit www.ascd.org/wholechild. To find out about ASCD’s focus on integrating learning and health visit www.ascd.org/learningandhealth. You can also find out more about ASCD’s other programs, products, services and memberships at www.ascd.org.

LifeSkills Training Works with Italian Youth

April 1, 2014

In the final part of this 5-part video series, Dr. Velasco describes her team’s evaluation methods and briefly summarizes one-year results showing that LifeSkills Training works with Italian youth. Visit http://www.lifeskillstraining.com for more information.

The series focuses on implementation of the Botvin Life Skills Training drug abuse prevention program with Italian youth.


What Parents and Teachers in Italy REALLY think of LifeSkills Training

March 31, 2014

In Part 4 of this 5-part series, Dr. Veronica Velasco talks about the positive reaction to the Botvin LifeSkills Training program by Italian parents and teachers. Visit http://www.lifeskillstraining.com for more information.

This 5-part series focuses on implementation of the Life Skills Training drug abuse prevention program with Italian youth.

Implementing LifeSkills Training in Milan

March 28, 2014

In Part 3 of this 5-part series, Dr. Veronica Velasco describes the implementation of Botvin LifeSkills Training with 100 classes from over 20 schools in Milan and the lessons learned by her project team. Visit http://www.lifeskillstraining.com for more information.

Translating and Adapting LifeSkills Training for Italian Youth

March 27, 2014

In Part 2 of this 5-part series, Dr. Veronica Velasco and Dr. Gilbert J. Botvin discuss the process of translating and adapting the LifeSkills Training program to the Italian culture. Visit http://www.lifeskillstraining.com for more information.


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