Botvin LifeSkills Training Most Widely Used Evidence-Based Prevention Program in Elementary Schools

Mar 08, 2011, 05:00 ET from Botvin LifeSkills Training

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., March 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- A new study has found that Botvin's LifeSkills Training (LST) program is the top evidence-based drug abuse prevention program in the United States, based on use by elementary schools.  According to the study, more elementary schools in the US choose to use the LST program over all other evidence-based prevention programs. Based on the study, among the evidence-based curricula, LST was the program used most frequently and by the most districts.

The study, published in the Journal of Drug Education, based its findings on a national survey of school-based substance use prevention curricula that were identified as evidence-based on three main registries: the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP), Blueprints for Violence Prevention, and the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Safe and Drug-free Schools. Evidence-based programs are those programs that have been rigorously tested and proven to be effective using well-accepted scientific methods. The review revealed nine universal curricula that targeted students of elementary school age; LifeSkills Training was the only program listed on all three registries.

"Prevention needs to start at an early age," said program developer Dr. Gilbert J. Botvin. "And when choosing a prevention program, schools need to put their money and efforts behind programs that have been carefully tested and proven to work." According to Dr. Botvin, "While we are happy to see so many schools using the LST program, it is clear that we have a good deal more work to do in order to increase the use of effective programs by our nation's schools."

The study noted that although three-quarters of the nation's public school districts administer a substance use prevention curriculum to their elementary students, only about one-third of those are using one that is evidence-based. Researchers suggest that this is due to a number of reasons, including limited funding. The study was funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, one of the federal government's National Institutes of Health.

About Botvin LifeSkills Training Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST) is a highly effective evidence-based substance abuse and violence prevention program with more than 30 years of peer-reviewed research behind it. Studies testing its effectiveness have found that LST can reduce the prevalence of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drug use by as much as 80 percent. The program was developed by Dr. Gilbert J. Botvin, professor of Public Health and Psychiatry at Cornell University's Weill Medical College and director of Cornell's Institute for Prevention Research. Dr. Botvin is also founder and president of National Health Promotion Associates which markets the LST program and other health materials. LST has been used with youth in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and in 32 countries around the world. LST is included in the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) and has been selected for prevention excellence by numerous organizations including the U.S. Department of Education, the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (part of the U.S. Department of Justice). Recently LST was selected as a Top Tier prevention program by the Coalition for Evidence-based Policy, an independent, non-partisan, non-profit organization in Washington, DC. Visit for more information.

SOURCE Botvin LifeSkills Training