To What Extent Is the Program Teaching Skills to Avoid Drug and Alcohol Use?

Approaches that teach youth to say ‘no’ to substances by teaching refusal skills through role play and verbal practice have been found to be very effective (Botvin & Griffin, 2003; Cuijpers, 2003; Greenberg, 2003; Tobler et al., 2000; Winters, 2007). Effective drug prevention programs also teach skills related to problem solving, decision making, negotiation, and improved communication (Tobler et al., 2000; Winters, 2007).

To find examples of an implementation assessment tools that have been developed for an evidence-based drug abuse prevention program, go to the EPISCenter web site:  http://www.episcenter.psu.edu/ebp/lifeskills/evaltools. If you are not implementing this evidence-based program with an existing assessment tool, you can use these tools as models when developing your own assessment tool. However, a note of caution is needed to warn that developing tools without a strong background in survey design and measurement is not recommended. If you do develop your own tool, it will need to be refined over time, and, ideally, reviewed by an external research firm to validate its reliability and validity.

Sources Cited

Botvin, G. J., & Griffin, K. W. (2003). Drug abuse prevention curricula in schools. In Z. Sloboda & W. J. Bukoski (Eds.), Handbook of drug abuse prevention: Theory, science, and practice (pp. 45-74). New York: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.

Greenberg, M. T., Weissberg, R. P., O'Brien, M. U., Zins, J. E., Fredericks, L., Resnik, H., et al. (2003). Enhancing school-based prevention and youth development through coordinated social, emotional, and academic learning. American Psychologist, 58(6-7), 466-474. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.58.6-7.466

National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2003). Preventing drug use among children and adolescents: A research-based guide for parents, educators, and community leaders.

Tobler, N. S., Roona, M. R., Ochshorn, P., Marshall, D. G., Streke, A. V., & Stackpole, K. M. (2000). School-based adolescent drug prevention programs: 1998 meta-analysis. The Journal of Primary Prevention, 20(4), 275-336.

Winters, K.C., Fawkes, T., Fahnhorst, T., Botzet, A., & August, G. (2007). A synthesis review of exemplary drug abuse prevention programs in the United States. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment, 32, 371-380. doi:10.1016/j.jsat.2006.10.002