Research reveals communities should consider a different strategy to combat the growing epidemic of prescription opioid misuse among youth; an evidence-based program called Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST). The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)–supported researchers reported that the LST prevention curriculum, delivered in 7th grade classrooms, helps students avoid misusing prescription opioids throughout their teen years.
Through the LST program, students learn not only how to resist pressures to smoke, drink, and use drugs. They also learn important life skills such as how to make informed decisions and solve problems, how to manage stress and anxiety, and how to communicate clearly. The combination of drug resistance skills and life skills has proven to be a powerful formula for preventing drug use and even violence.
The new evaluation also determined that LST’s impact on prescription opioid misuse made it a good financial investment for communities. The evaluation showed that communities that implemented LST more than recouped its cost in reduced health, social, and other expenditures related to teen prescription opioid misuse.