LifeSkills Training Now Aligned to CASEL’s Social Emotional Competencies

January 8, 2018

Botvin LifeSkills® Training and SEL

Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST) is an internationally recognized, evidence-based program that supports the decrease of risky behaviors such as drug and/or alcohol use, violence, aggression, and delinquency.  By providing youth with effective social skills and self-management skills, such as communication and anxiety management, LST decreases the motivation to use drugs and the vulnerability to social influences that support drug use.  LST provides foundational skills for successful youth development through its alignment with CASEL’s five core SEL competencies. Its cognitive behavioral approach uses a variety of teaching techniques to facilitate discussion, which provides key knowledge, coaching, and behavior skill practice. LST should be considered an approach that can be used effectively used in both schools and youth-serving organizations to support the social and emotional development of youth.

caslWhat is SEL?

The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) is a Chicago based non-profit organization that for over 20 years has been leading the nation in the area of social and emotional learning.  CASEL provides a unique combination of research, practice, and policy to support its mission to help make evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL) become an integral part of education from preschool to high school.

SEL is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.  CASEL has identified five core SEL competencies:  self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making.

Why is SEL important?

Short-term benefits

  • More positive social behaviors and attitudes
  • More empathetic
  • Ability to manage stress and depression
  • Improved classroom behavior
  • Better attitudes about themselves, others, and school
  • Fewer conduct problems

Long-term benefits

  • Higher academic achievement
  • Decreased high school drop out rate
  • Fewer arrests
  • Fewer mental health disorders

Register for our webinar on 1/18 at 1pm ET to learn more or Click to view alignment


Funding Available in Washington State for Botvin LifeSkills Training Middle School program

December 13, 2017

From the State of Washington, Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI)…


The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is providing funding, through iGrants (#761), for implementation the Botvin LifeSkills Training program, a highly regarded and effective prevention program to address marijuana and other substance use in your school or youth-serving organization that works with middle school age children.

In addition to its substance use reduction outcomes, the Botvin LifeSkills Training program has also been shown to reduce school violence and bullying, as well as improve school climate. It is a three-level program that is generally provided to 6th, 7th, and 8th graders, over a three-year period. Level 1 has 15 lessons, Level 2 has 10 lessons, and Level 3 has 5 lessons, each designed for approximately 45-50 minutes.

The grant will pay for all student and teacher materials for all three levels for all students in your school or site. It will also pay for required instructor training.

This grant opportunity is funded with marijuana/cannabis tax revenues and is available for schools and community organizations serving middle school aged youth.

Grant application deadline is Thursday, January 18, 2018 at 4:00 pm.

Applications can be submitted through iGrants, a secure application within OSPI’S Education Data System. The Botvin LifeSkills Training Middle School grant application is Form Package 761.

To learn more about the grant contact Emily Maughan at OSPI, at 360-725-6030 or

Preventing Prescription Drug Misuse with LifeSkills Training: A Conversation Between Experts and Pennsylvania Providers

November 22, 2017

Hosted By…


Are you:

  • Looking for ways to improve your current LST Program?
  • Looking to better understand how LST can prevent opioid misuse?
  • Interested in getting connected with other people or organizations in Pennsylvania who are implementing LifeSkills Training?

LifeSkills Training (LST) is an effective substance abuse prevention program that has been shown to:

  • Cut tobacco use by 87%
  • Cut alcohol use by 60%
  • Cut marijuana use by 75%
  • And more.

Program registries like SAMHSA’s National Registry of Evidence-Based Prevention Programs and Practices,  Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development and Crime Solutions all rate LST as highly effective. This provider call will feature a discussion of a new module that specifically addresses prescription drug abuse and the opioid crisis.

Join us on Thursday, November 30th from 2:00-3:00 EST for an LST Networking Call featuring experts from National Health Promotion Associates, the LST training and dissemination center. We’ll cover:

  • The new LST Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Module
  • Practical tips for classroom management during LST delivery
  • Open Q&A period

While this call is primarily directed toward current Pennsylvania LST providers who want to improve their implementation, those interested in adopting the LST curriculum are encouraged to listen in.

Click this link to register for the FREE phone conference. Call in information will be provided with your registration confirmation.

Schools Combat Opioid Crisis with Botvin LifeSkills’ New Rx Module

November 17, 2017

WHITE PLAINS, NY – Schools and communities are implementing a new module to combat the prescription drug and opioid crisis, now regarded as a national emergency. National Health Promotion Associates (NHPA), the researchers behind Botvin LifeSkills Training, developed a Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Module to help youth avoid the dangers of prescription drug or opioid misuse/abuse.

The new LST Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Module gives teens the skills and knowledge necessary to help them avoid the misuse/abuse of opioids and prescription drugs.   Available in a variety of formats that allows for both online and classroom delivery, the new module is ideal for school districts, community-based organizations, and agencies serving students in grades 6 – 9. The module is flexible enough to enhance the evience-based Botvin LifeSkills Training program or to be integrated into existing prevention programming.

The new module is designed to further enhance the effectiveness of the LST Middle School program, which has already been proven to reduce opioid and prescription drug misuse. A recent study funded by National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) showed that the LST Middle School program delivered in 7th grade classrooms helped students avoid misusing/abusing prescriptions opioids and other drugs throughout their teen years. NHPA researchers say that the addition of this new module will reinforce the already effective LST program.

“NHPA is a leader in quality, effective evidence-based prevention education.  While our core Middle School program already has evidence demonstrating its effectiveness in reducing opioid and prescription drug misuse and abuse, the addition of this new module will help to specifically address the epidemic facing our nation.   The LST program has been tested through more than 30 years of rigorous scientific research and has identified prevention approaches that are effective, produce lasting results, and can save taxpayers a good deal of money,” said Dr. Gilbert J. Botvin, professor emeritus at Cornell University’s Weill Medical College and developer of the LST program. “Let’s stop prescription opioid abuse before it begins. Now is the time to unleash the power of prevention.”

More than 35 federally funded studies have demonstrated that LST protects teens against tobacco, alcohol, substance use, and other problem behaviors such as delinquency and violence. According to a 2013 report on the economic benefit of evidence-based prevention programs, LST produced a $38 benefit for every $1 invested in terms of reduced corrections costs, welfare and social services burden, drug and mental health treatment; and increased employment and tax revenue. LST had the highest return on investment of all substance abuse prevention curricula studied.

Free Provider Training in Ohio

November 14, 2017

Prevention Action Alliance is hosting five (5) regional Middle School trainings and five (5) regional High School trainings. Please review the dates and locations below prior to making your ticket selection. If you would like to attend both Middle and High School trainings, you will need to complete each registration separately.

prevention action.png

Who should attend this training:
• Classroom teachers
• School counselors
• Prevention specialists
• Health professionals
• Mental Health Professionals
• Social Workers
• Community youth educators
• Law Enforcement Officers
• Older peer leaders

Cost: FREE

Lunch and a light breakfast will be included with your registration, and RCH’s will be available upon completion. Click here for dates or to register


Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST) is a research-validated substance misuse prevention program proven to reduce the risks of alcohol, tobacco, drug abuse, and violence by targeting the major social and psychological factors that promote the initiation of substance use and other risky behaviors. This comprehensive and exciting program provides adolescents and young teens with the confidence and skills necessary to successfully handle challenging situations.

Rather than merely teaching information about the dangers of drug misuse, Botvin LifeSkills Training promotes healthy alternatives to risky behavior through activities designed to:
– Teach students the necessary skills to resist social (peer) pressures to smoke, drink, and use drugs
– Help students to develop greater self-esteem and self-confidence
– Enable students to effectively cope with anxiety
– Increase their knowledge of the immediate consequences of substance misuse
– Enhance cognitive and behavioral competency to reduce and prevent a variety of health risk behaviors

Advocates Recommend Botvin LifeSkills Training to Replace D.A.R.E.

November 8, 2017

In declaring a public health emergency over the opioid epidemic, President Trump called for the creation of a national media campaign to reduce drug use among young people.

As part of PBS NewsHour’s America Addicted series, William Brangham speaks with Gary Mendell of Shatterproof about what should be done to prevent addiction.



“For example, there is a program called LifeSkills that’s in about 3 or 4% of our middle schools. It has great research behind it that shows that it works. Alternatively, there’s research that shows that DARE, which is in about 75% of our middle schools, doesn’t work. So, if we can move our middle schools to using LifeSkills, instead of DARE, the opportunity to reduce the number of our teens who ever use drugs is substantially higher.”  – Gary Mendell, Shatterproof

Interested in learning more about the evidence-based Botvin LifeSkills Training program? Email us for sample lessons, to request a preview copy of the curriculum, or register to attend an overview webinar presentation.

NIDA: LifeSkills Training Shields Teens from Prescription Opioid Abuse

November 7, 2017

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.rx

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.

Click here for full article

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