The primary goal of school-based alcohol and drug prevention programs is to prevent or delay first time use among youth. School-based interventions are designed to reduce risk factors for early alcohol and drug use primarily at the individual level by enhancing student’s knowledge, skills, and resiliency, as well as addressing social and environmental risk factors as well.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), prevention programs for middle school and high school students should increase academic and social competence with the following skills: study habits and academic support, communication, peer relationships, self-efficacy and assertiveness, drug resistance skills, reinforcement of anti-drug attitudes, and strengthening of personal commitments against drug abuse.
Many effective school-based alcohol and drug prevention programs are currently being offered in Scott County Schools, we would like to tell you more about two currently being utilized. The first one is Botvin LifeSkills Training, a highly effective evidence-based substance abuse and violence prevention program with more than 30 years of peer-reviewed research behind it.
LifeSkills Training (LST) promotes healthy alternatives to risky behavior by helping students develop greater self-esteem and self-confidence, thereby enabling them to effectively cope with stress and anxiety. Not only is it one of the top-rated substance abuse prevention program in schools today, a recent study also showed that LST prevents physical and verbal aggression as well as delinquency and fighting in schools.
LifeSkills Training is taught to all Scott County students in grades 3 through 7. LST consists of three major components that cover the critical domains involved with the decision to use substances. Research has shown that students who develop skills in these three domains are far less likely to engage in a wide range of high-risk behaviors. The three components are Drug Resistance Skills, Personal Self-Management Skills, and General Social Skills.
A second school-based prevention program being taught to Austin Middle School 8th graders is All Stars, a prevention program designed to delay the onset of risky behaviors with adolescents. With over 30 years of proven results, All Stars is listed on the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices and shown to have the greatest cost-benefit returns among prevention programs.
All Stars has two goals. First, it helps prevent risky behaviors among adolescents, and second, it helps adolescents build resilience for positive and bright futures. Research shows the later the age someone begins to use substances, the less likely they will have substance use problems later in life. This means, the longer we are able to delay the first time use of drugs like alcohol and marijuana among youth, the less likely they will develop a dependence to alcohol or other drugs.
Scott County is proud to offer these and many other school-based drug and alcohol prevention-education programs to our students. Preventing drug and alcohol use and abuse before it starts is paramount in changing Scott County from a culture of addiction to a culture of prevention, intervention, and recovery.