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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Addressing the Opioid Crisis with a New Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Module

October 11, 2017

Schools and communities are searching for new tools 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, have risen to the challenge of helping youth avoid the dangers of prescription drug or opioid misuse/abuse and are excited to announce the release of a Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Module.

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.  It will be available in a variety of formats that will allow for both online and classroom delivery. The new module is ideal for school districts, community-based organizations, and agencies serving students ages 11 – 14. The module is flexible enough to enhance the award-winning 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 been proven to reduce opioid and prescription drug misuse.   A 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.


New Prescription Drug Module to Help Shield Teens from Opioid Crisis

August 25, 2017

Schools and communities are searching for new tools 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, have risen to the challenge of helping youth avoid the dangers of prescription drug or opioid misuse/abuse and are excited to announce the release of a Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention Module.

presc-drug-burst

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.   It will be available in a variety of formats that will allow for both online and classroom delivery. The new module is ideal for school districts, community-based organizations, and agencies serving students ages 11 – 14.    The module is flexible enough to enhance the award-winning Botvin LifeSkills Trainingprogram 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 been proven to reduce opioid and prescription drug misuse.   A 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.

About Botvin LifeSkills Training
Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST) is a highly acclaimed, evidence-based substance abuse and violence prevention program used in schools and communities. LST has been extensively tested and proven to reduce 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.  Visit www.lifeskillstraining.com for more information.


Schools Ramping Up Opioid Abuse Program – WSJ

December 2, 2016

Many U.S. schools are ramping up campaigns to prevent opioid abuse among students as evidence mounts of a growing problem.

In some regions, schools are teaching a substance-abuse-prevention program developed at Cornell University to students as young as fourth grade.


WSJ: Schools Step Up Efforts to Fight Opioid Abuse

November 15, 2016
On Friday The Wall Street Journal featured an article and video highlighting the LifeSkills Training program. See below for the full article link and click the image to watch an interview with program developer Dr. Gilbert J. Botvin. 

the-wall-street-journal-logo

wsjMany U.S. schools are ramping up campaigns to prevent opioid abuse among students as evidence mounts of a growing problem.

Some are inviting pharmacists to schools to convey the dangers of prescription pills. Others are offering emergency counseling via text message. In some regions, schools are teaching a substance-abuse-prevention program developed at Cornell University to students as young as fourth grade… Click to read full article


Prescription Drug Abuse: Sharing Is Not Caring

July 26, 2016

A recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine reported that nearly 60 percent of Americans have opioid painkillers that they no longer use. Within this group, 20 percent of participants stated they shared their opioid painkillers with another person.

Those who shared their medication reported that the primary reason for doing so was to help the other person manage their pain. The second most reported reason was because the person asking for the medication did not have the money to pay for the medication or did not have health insurance.

Possession of opioids by people other than the patients to whom they were prescribed is a growing problem, because misusing prescription medication is both physically harmful and illegal.

Because prescription medication is widely used for the treatment of an array of illnesses and disorders, many Americans do not see a problem with sharing their prescription medication to help their friends and family. In an article in the Washington Post, Johns-Hopkins professor Colleen L. Barry calls for a change of public opinion, stating that it is crucial that officials send “a clear-cut public health message that these medications should never be shared in any circumstance.”

The amount of prescription drug abuse is on the rise, especially among adolescents. In a study published by University of Central Florida professor Jason A. Ford, Ph.D., 22 percent of high school students reported nonmedical use of prescription drugs at some point in their lifetime, with 15 percent reporting nonmedical prescription drug abuse within the last year.

Researchers at National Health Promotion Associates are working to develop a Middle School Prescription Drug Abuse program. The program, based on their LifeSkills Training program, aims to prevent drug use by teaching adolescents to use personal self-management skills, social competency skills, and drug refusal skills.  Developers of the program hope to see reductions in abuse by raising awareness at an early age of the potential harm that can come from sharing prescription drugs and providing the tools needed to increase resilience and stimulate personal growth.

The Food and Drug Administration lists proper disposal techniques as one way  of preventing nonmedical prescription drug abuse. To dispose of unused prescription drugs, drop them off at an authorized collector in your community. You can find authorized collectors in your community by calling your local law-enforcement agency or doing an Internet search to locate prescription drug take-back programs.

Sources: DrugFree.org, The Washington Post, Jama Internal Medicine, The Prevention Researcher

Writer: Brooke Dugan is a rising senior majoring in Psychology and Communication at Loyola University Maryland.  


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.


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