Most adults with substance use issues identify adolescence as the primary time period for their experimentation with substances. Youth prevention programs aim to deter or delay the onset use of widely used substances, including: alcohol, tobacco, marijuana. They are categorized by their dissemination target level (e.g. universal, selected, and indicated) and sites (e.g. school, family or community based). The following prevention programs are just a few of the many available.
School based programs focus on increasing social resistance to peer pressures and advertisings’ depiction of alcohol and tobacco, replacing inaccurate understandings of the social acceptability of drug use, amd teaching general social, problem solving, coping and cognitive skills. The Life Skills Training (LST), the Project Toward No Drug Use (TND), and the Brief Alcohol Screening and Intervention for College Students (BASCIS) all have evidence of reducing substance use rates and increasing substance resistance skills in comparison to control groups. LST is a universal program created for students from fourth to tenth grade to develop skills in social and personal domains in resisting substance use. TND functions at a selected level for students in both traditional and alternative/continuation high schools. BASICS is an indicated program spotlighting college students with alcohol issues to decrease the resulting negative consequences in their academics and behaviors.
Family based programs incorporate participation of families and parents and vary in implementation. The Family Matters, a universal program, allows parents to administer home based activities with their children aged twelve to fourteen to increase parental monitoring and parent-child communication. Over a period of twenty weeks Creating Lasting Family Connections, a selected program, facilitates strengthening of parent-child communication and use of community resources. During up to seventeen sessions of family therapy, Brief Strategic Family Therapy, an indicated program, targets families with issues in substance use and behavior management of children aged six to seventeen. All three programs have peer reviewed papers with outcomes of reducing substance use and increasing family functioning.
Community based programs utilize parental, school and community components to improve academic, social and behavioral outcomes. Caring School Community, a universal program, focuses on fostering positive and supportive school environments for elementary school aged children through quality relationships and communication between teachers, parents and students. The Across Ages, a selected program, provides at risk students transitioning to middle school with mentorship from a member of the community. The Adolescent Community Reinforcement Approach (A-CRA) concentrates on individuals from twelve to twenty two years old with substance use disorders. A-CRA uses behavioral components (e.g. replacing substance use with positive activities and skill training) through sessions of just youth, just caregivers, and both youth and caregivers.
For additional information on evidence based programs: http://www.nrepp.samhsa.gov/
The Central Rockies ATTC is managed by the Utah Addiction Center at the University of Utah Health Sciences Center. Through a collaborative partnership with the University of Nevada, Reno, and the University of Iowa, the Central Rockies ATTC facilitates workforce development for treatment professionals providing training and technical assistance on evidence-based practices, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) Blending Products and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Initiatives.
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