LifeSkills Training (LST) is a multi-component substance abuse prevention curriculum addressing social, psychological, cognitive, and attitudinal factors associated with the use of various legal and illegal substances. LST's primary objective is to enhance the development of basic life skills, personal competence, and skills related to resistance to social influences that promote substance use. Targeted to middle/junior high school students, this three-year intervention is designed to prevent or reduce gateway drug use (i.e., tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana), and is primarily implemented in school classrooms by school teachers. It is initially introduced in grades 6 or 7, depending on the school structure, with booster sessions in the two subsequent years. The program is delivered in 15 sessions in year one, 10 sessions in year two, and 5 sessions in year three. Sessions, which last an average of 45 minutes, can be delivered once a week or as an intensive mini-course. The program consists of three major components that teach students: (1) general self-management skills, (2) social skills, and (3) information and skills specifically related to drug use. Skills are taught using training techniques such as instruction, demonstration, feedback, reinforcement, and practice. More than a dozen studies have consistently shown that LST dramatically reduces tobacco, alcohol, and marijuana use, reduces polydrug use, and decreases use of inhalants, narcotics, and hallucinogens. Further, these studies have shown that the program works with a diverse range of adolescents, produces long-lasting results, and is effective when taught by teachers, peer leaders, or health professionals.
National Site: LifeSkills Training