WHITE PLAINS, NY – Botvin LifeSkills Training, a top-rated prevention program proven to reduce substance abuse and violence, was featured at the 2014 Blueprints Conference for Healthy Youth Development. The conference, held in Denver, Colorado, featured LifeSkills Training (LST) and other prevention programs identified as effective by a national panel of prevention experts. Dr. Botvin’s presentation described the LST program and summarized the scientific evidence proving its effectiveness. The session also focused on practical strategies for promoting the adopting and successful implementation of evidence-based prevention programs such as LST. Joining Dr. Botvin were Alayne MacArthur and Pamela Werb, two senior LST trainers who have extensive teaching, training, and curriculum development experience. In addition, LST was featured in a well-attended all-day pre-conference workshop session. Attendees participated in an interactive, peer-based training experience covering important topics related to the successful implementation and sustainability of the LST program with an emphasis on strategies for enhancing planning, implementation, student engagement and long-term use of LST.
The goal of the international Blueprints Conference is to motivate the violence and drug prevention field to adopt evidence-based programs and provide support, guidance, and tools to help practitioners implement these programs successfully in their own communities. More than 500 people attended, including professionals working in the areas of juvenile justice, violence, and drug abuse prevention for youth. The Blueprints Conference is part of a larger initiative to identify and promote the use of prevention programs proven effective through rigorous evaluation research.
“The Blueprints initiative has a tremendous impact on all prevention because it gives decision-makers the tools necessary to identify the most effective programs,” said invited speaker Dr. Gilbert J. Botvin, an internationally known prevention expert and developer of the LifeSkills Training (LST) substance abuse and violence prevention program. “In order to improve the quality of health in America and reduce future health costs, it is vitally important that those responsible for selecting and adopting programs have access to information about the most effective and scientifically proven prevention programs and policies.”
LifeSkills Training is a model prevention program identified by Blueprints for Violence Prevention, the national violence prevention initiative. 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. More recently, this initiative has been expanded to focus more broadly on healthy youth development.