Transforming Youth Recovery’s New Study Examines Best-In-Class Drug and Alcohol Prevention Programs for K-12 Students in the U.S.

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After the review of 184 prevention programs, 17 met the criteria for evidence-based, Best-In-Class alcohol and other drug prevention programs

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Our vision is to unite and amplify the life-saving communities that cherish young people in recovery.

Transforming Youth Recovery announced today the release of a new study that identifies the Best-In-Class prevention programs that are currently available to K-12 students in the United States. 17 out of the 184 programs reviewed met the criteria to be called Best-In-Class, evidence-based programs.

The study found that there is a gap of alarming proportions between the total number of K-12 students in the U.S. and the number of those students who have access to effective, evidence-based alcohol and other drug prevention programs. Although school-based health promotion has existed in the U.S. for more than sixty years and school-based alcohol and other drug prevention programs have been around for 30 years, only a small percentage these programs are evidence-based.

Research shows that adolescent substance use is associated with adverse outcomes in children and families, leading to long-term effects such as addiction, incarceration, and unemployment. Furthermore teen alcohol and other drug use is associated with accidents, unintentional overdoses, violence, sexual trauma and legal issues (Hazelden 2014). Substance use prevention programming typically consists of activities that seek to reduce specific problems, protect the current state of wellbeing, and promote desired outcomes or behaviors.

Closing the Gap: An examination of access to Best-In-Class evidence-based alcohol and other drug prevention programs for K-12 students in the U.S. is available free of charge through this link on our website. It presents the landscape of K-12 prevention programs in the U.S. as captured by a number of online databases and offers a cross-referencing of registries and evaluator sites in order to identify 17 Best-In-Class evidence-based alcohol and other drug prevention programs. Additionally, it provides a rich history of school-based health and prevention.

This study is the first of a three-part initiative aimed at improving the access to evidence-based prevention programs nationwide. The next initiative is to find and map the specific prevention practices that have proven to be the most effective. The final initiative will accelerate the implementation of the most effective prevention programs through a network of parents, schools, government agencies, organizations and communities.

Ivana Grahovac, Executive Director of Transforming Youth Recovery, further explains:
“Our vision is to unite and amplify the life-saving communities that cherish young people in recovery. Addiction is a public health crisis we are addressing without hesitation. Our emphasis is on young people and their families, finding and sharing what is working, and creating supportive networks that allow people to make informed decisions.”

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Transforming Youth Recovery looks specifically at the community, educational and peer networks that influence youth development and achievement, and provides novel approaches that have the potential to dramatically expand family and school-based prevention, intervention and recovery support services.

http://www.transformingyouthrecovery.org

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Pamela Clark
Transforming Youth Recovery
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