Fighting addiction before it starts | The Recorder

May 19, 2015

The Franklin Regional Council of Governments was among 26 municipalities and institutions awarded $2.9 million in grants through the Department of Public Health Monday, money the administration said is intended to combat opioid abuse before it starts.

Locally, it means continued life for the Communities that Care Coalition’s efforts.

Rachel Stoler, the Council of Government’s Partnership for Youth co-coordinator, said the Partnership has held a grant for the past seven years or so on behalf of the Communities that Care Coalition to address underage drinking. The money has been used for compliance checks and social marketing and social norms campaigns, and teacher trainings in the Botvin LifeSkills curriculum to prevent youth substance abuse and violence.

via Fighting addiction before it starts | The Recorder.


This week is National Prevention Week

May 18, 2015

National Prevention Week is a SAMHSA-supported annual health observance dedicated to increasing public awareness of, and action around, substance abuse and mental health issues. National Prevention Week 2015 will take place May 17-23, 2015. Be sure to use the hashtag #Chooseprevention for all social media postings related to national prevention week!

The theme for 2015 is “The Voice of One, the Power of All.”

Purpose of National Prevention Week

There are three primary goals of National Prevention Week:

  • To involve communities in raising awareness of behavioral health issues and in implementing prevention strategies
  • To foster partnerships and collaboration with federal agencies and national organizations dedicated to behavioral and public health
  • To promote and disseminate quality behavioral health resources and publications

Why Does National Prevention Week occur in May?

National Prevention Week is held each year during the third week of May, near the start of summer. Summer is a season filled with celebrations and recreational activities where substance use and abuse can happen, such as graduation parties, proms, weddings, sporting events, and outdoor activities. National Prevention Week is timed to allow schools to take part in a prevention-themed event before the school year ends, raising awareness in students of all ages. The percentages of marijuana, cigarette, and alcohol initiates among youth increase between spring (April and May) and summer (June and July), and the timing of National Prevention Week helps to educate youth and their families at this crucial time of year.

Make the Timing of Your Event Fit Your Community

Most organizations conduct prevention activities throughout the year, culminating in a community-wide event during National Prevention Week. If there are circumstances that make scheduling an event at the end of May difficult, there are other ways to participate. For example, you may choose to hold events during another week in May leading up to National Prevention Week instead. You might also consider scheduling prevention activities before or after the third week of May to accommodate the needs of your community.

Here’s what matters most: your participation! No matter when you can hold your prevention event, getting involved is most important. Whenever you participate in National Prevention Week, you join the nationwide effort to prevent substance abuse and mental disorders, show others that prevention works, and support the health and well-being of your community.

How Communities Get Involved

During National Prevention Week, community organizations across the country host health fairs, block parties, educational assemblies, town hall meetings, memorial walks, social media campaigns, outdoor events, and more. Thousands of people across the United States and in U.S. territories attend these events and help raise awareness about the importance of preventing substance use and mental disorders.

2015 Daily Health Themes

  • Prevention of Tobacco Use – Monday, May 18
  • Prevention of Underage Drinking & Alcohol Abuse – Tuesday, May 19
  • Prevention of Opioid & Prescription Drug Abuse – Wednesday, May 20
  • Prevention of Illicit Drug Use & Youth Marijuana Use – Thursday, May 21
  • Prevention of Suicide – Friday, May 22
  • Promotion of Mental Health & Wellness – Saturday, May 23

Click here to learn more about the SAMSHA National Prevention Week and how you can get involved! 

Learn more about the LifeSkills Training Middle School program

May 13, 2015

LifeSkills Training Middle School program:  Effective and Engaging Prevention Education for Healthy and Drug-Free Youth

In this informative presentation, participants will explore the underpinnings of the Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST) Middle School program, review program levels and support, and gain insight into program fidelity and implementation options.

Are you considering implementing a quality evidence-based prevention program? Are you and or your colleagues interested in learning more about the field? Then join us at our webinar.

Duration:  30 minutes

Format:  Webinar

Cost: $0.00 (Space is limited)

About the Presenter:  Craig Zettle has presented at national and international conferences over the last 15 years.  He has been active in prevention education with the Botvin LifeSkills Training program for the last 10 years and regularly consults with schools, districts, federal and state agencies, as well as community-based organizations on the implementation and support of the Botvin LifeSkills Training program. 

Register: Wednesday, May 20th at 11am EDT Attendees will be entered into a raffle for a complimentary LifeSkills Online Training  for one person.

New Approach for Preventing Sexual Violence among College Students

May 5, 2015

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., May 5, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — One in five college students experiences sexual assault during their college career, and a New York-based health and wellness company is working to help change that. National Health Promotion Associates (NHPA) has been awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop and evaluate an effective approach to preventing sexual violence. This new program for incoming college students will be based on the science of the Botvin Life Skills Training (LST) program. LST has been tested in over 30 peer-reviewed studies and proven to dramatically cut teen alcohol, drug abuse, and violence—in some cases by as much as 80%. These studies show that the LST program yields reductions in excessive alcohol use, illicit drug use, and violence with different populations, providers, and delivery formats. The studies also show that the effects are long-lasting, with evidence of prevention effects lasting well into young adulthood.

The new sexual violence prevention program will take a holistic approach. Students will learn important life skills for handling the challenges of everyday college life, enhancing the development of general personal and social competence, and increasing overall resilience.

“We are excited about receiving this funding from NIH, and look forward to this opportunity to develop and test an innovative program that will stop sexual violence before it ever begins,” said Dr. Gilbert J. Botvin, developer of the LifeSkills Training program, professor emeritus of Cornell University’s Weill Medical College, and president of NHPA. “Since sexual violence often occurs while people are under the influence of alcohol or drugs, it is important that prevention programs focus on alcohol and drug abuse as well as sexual violence.”

During the first phase of this NIH-funded project, researchers will develop and test sample materials for the new program to determine their relevance, utility, and appeal among college students, faculty, and administrators. The resulting data will guide the development of the full program and test its effectiveness in a large-scale national study involving 40 college campuses.

Dr. Kenneth Griffin, Senior Research Scientist at NHPA and director of the team developing the new program, added that “this new program will use a series of interactive web-based and face-to-face learning activities to change social norms surrounding alcohol/drug abuse and sexual violence, train bystanders to recognize and respond to high-risk situations, and help college students develop the kind of skills that lead to healthy relationships.”

Established in 1985, National Health Promotion Associates (NHPA) is a dynamic health and wellness firm located in White Plains, New York. Dedicated to promoting behavioral health, NHPA focuses on developing, evaluating, and providing training to educators and health professionals on a range of health and wellness programs. An area of particular interest relates to the prevention of health risk behaviors among adolescents and young adults, including substance abuse, violence, bullying, and sexual violence. For more information visit:

Contact: Paulina Kalaj 800-293-4969

Dr. Kenneth W. Griffin holds a Ph.D. from the State University of New York (Stony Brook) and an MPH from Columbia University, Dr. Griffin is currently a senior research scientist at NHPA and an adjunct professor of healthcare policy and research at Cornell University’s Weill Medical College in New York City.

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