How LifeSkills Training in Schools Can Keep Kids Healthy and Drug-free

March 15, 2018

School districts, individual schools, and their partner agencies are challenged now more than ever with a number of social, emotional, and environmental needs that impact the lives of the youth they serve. Time and resources are at a premium which demands an approach that is not only diverse in it reach, but delivers multiple outcomes, meaningful change, and results.

Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST) is a research-validated substance abuse prevention program proven to reduce the risks of alcohol, tobacco, drug abuse, opioid misuse, 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 curriculum provides adolescents and young teens in grades 3 – 12 with the confidence and skills necessary to successfully handle challenging situations.



Rather than merely teaching information about the dangers of drug abuse, 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 abuse
  • Enhance cognitive and behavioral competency to reduce and prevent a variety of health risk behaviors

Join us to learn how this evidence-based curriculum can be implemented in your school or community. LST has been proven to reduce alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and other drug abuse, and research on LST demonstrated reductions in violence, delinquency, and most recently, prescription and opioid misuse among middle school aged-youth.

Botvin LifeSkills Training:  A Proven Program for Drug-free Youth on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 at noon ET

Space is limited! After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Botvin LifeSkills Training Featured at SAMHSA’s Prevention Day

February 22, 2018

WHITE PLAINS, NY – The Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST) program was featured at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) recent 14th Annual Prevention Day on February 5, 2018. This annual event was held in conjunction with the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America’s (CADCA’s) 28th National Leadership Forum at National Harbor, MD. 

LST was featured in a 90-minute Institute attended by prevention practitioners, community leaders, and behavioral health professionals gathered to hear from internationally known prevention expert Dr. Gilbert J. Botvin, developer of the LifeSkills Training (LST) program, founder and president of National Health Promotion Associates, and Professor Emeritus at Cornell University’s Weill Cornell Medical College. LST is a highly acclaimed, evidence-based substance abuse and violence prevention program that has been used in schools and communities throughout the US and in 39 countries around the world. Over 30 studies published in scientific journal show that LST can cut adolescent tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drug use by as much 80%.

Dr. Botvin described the LST approach and the underlying theory of this positive youth development approach to substance abuse prevention. He also summarized the research evidence documenting the effectiveness of LST for preventing tobacco use, underage drinking, and illicit drug use. Among the most exciting research findings were those showing that LST can prevent prescription drug abuse and teen opioid misuse. Further strengthening the potential impact of LST to prevent opioid misuse is a new opioid and prescription drug abuse prevention module available either online as an e-learning program or as a classroom program in print form.

Dr. Botvin was joined at the morning Institute by community prevention leaders who described the success of LST implementation in their communities and included Ronna Yablonski, Executive Director of Cambria County (PA) Drug Coalition and Kat Allen, Coalition Coordinator of CTC Partnership for Youth, a Program of the Franklin Regional Council of Governments (MA). Rounding out the Institute was Craig Zettle, Vice President at NHPA, who addressed critical issues related to long-term sustainability of implementing prevention programs that have been tested and proven effective.

Those attending learned the theory underlying LST, as well as evidence of its effectiveness. Speakers also covered important dissemination issues regarding the adoption, implementation, and sustainability in schools, family, and community settings.

“We’ve come a long way in the field of prevention, and now it’s really about a risk-focused approach. In fact, the LST program has been tested through 35 years of rigorous scientific research that identified these approaches as effective, producing lasting results, and with the potential to save taxpayers a good deal of money,” said Dr. Botvin. “Let’s stop drug abuse before it begins. Now is truly the time to unleash the power of prevention.”

The LifeSkills Training program has been extensively tested and proven effective at reducing tobacco, alcohol, opioid, and illicit drug use by as much as 80%. Long-term follow-up studies also show that it produces prevention effects that are durable and long-lasting.

CADCA’s National Leadership Forum is the largest training event for the prevention field. Attendees learn strategies to address substance abuse and hear from prevention experts, federal administrators, and concerned policymakers. The Forum brings together attendees representing coalitions from all regions of the country and internationally, government leaders, youth, prevention specialists, addiction treatment professionals, addiction recovery advocates, researchers, educators, law enforcement professionals, and faith-based leaders.


Funding available for Botvin LifeSkills in Pennsylvania

January 31, 2018

The Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) is accepting applications for Violence and Delinquency Prevention Programs Funds to support a targeted group of evidence-based programs including Botvin LifeSkills Training. Because a substantial body of research exists on the causes and correlates of adolescent problem behaviors, implementing programs that are effective in preventing adolescent problem behaviors continues to be a priority within PCCD. PCCDLogo-2C

To enable communities to implement such programs, PCCD is making available funds to support evidence-based prevention programs. The programs eligible for funding under this announcement include the Botvin LifeSkills Training middle school program.

PCCD will accept applications for two-year grants with total budgets not to exceed $175,000 over the two years. The maximum amount of funding that may be requested in either year is $100,000.

Eligibility for these funds is open to any private non-profit agency, public agency, or unit of local government.

Questions about how you should respond to this funding announcement must be sent by email to (Put “2018 Violence and Delinquency Prevention Programs” in the subject line).

Webinar: How LifeSkills Training can Keep Kids Healthy and Drug-free (space is limited)

January 11, 2018

Join us on this free webinar to learn more about the highly effective Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST) program and how it can positively impact the lives of youth in elementary, middle, and high school. Explore the LST structure and learn how it can be an effective, enjoyable, and easy-to-teach program!picture1

Botvin LifeSkills Training:   A Proven Program for Drug-free Youth

School districts, individual schools, and their partner agencies are challenged now more than ever with a number of social, emotional, and environmental needs that impact the lives of the youth they serve. Time and resources are at a premium which demands an approach that is not only diverse in it reach, but delivers multiple outcomes, meaningful change, and results.

In fact, the Surgeon General recently named LifeSkills Training (LST) as one of the most effective school-based programs for adolescents aged 10 to 18.*  The LST program is research validated, has universal appeal, is age and developmentally appropriate, will change the lives of the youth you serve for the better.

Join us to learn how the Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST) program has been proven to reduce alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, and other drug abuse. In addition, research on LST demonstrated reductions in violence, delinquency, and most recently, prescription and opioid misuse among middle school aged-youth.

*Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health, 2016

Space is limited! After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the training.

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.

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.

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