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LifeSkills Training (LST) Prevention Program Makes Economic Sense in the Fight against Opioid Epidemic: LST Can Yield a $45 benefit for every $1 invested

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., Aug. 29, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- If the saying "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" is correct, then an ounce of LST is actually worth 45 pounds of cure according to a new report by the Promote Prevent Commission, an interdisciplinary group of leaders in behavioral health, prevention, and public health in Massachusetts. The report, formally titled the Behavioral Health Promotion and Upstream Prevention, serves as a behavioral health roadmap for what works in prevention, how to better fund what's working, and what can be achieved by funding what's working.

The Promote Prevent Commission partnered with the Pew-MacArthur Foundation Results First Initiative to help determine which government-funded programs have research evidence of improving outcomes for youth and families. Of the universal prevention programs analyzed, the Botvin LifeSkills Training program had the highest cost-benefit ratio as well as evidence rating. For every dollar invested in the LST program, this study found that communities can reap a benefit of $45 in terms of avoided long-term costs of health care utilization and crime due to substance use disorder, as well as wage loss from disrupted employment.

"Nearly 40 years of rigorous scientific study prove that evidence-based programs can prevent substance abuse and misuse, violence, and other risky behaviors," said Dr. Gilbert J. Botvin, Professor Emeritus at Cornell University's Weill Medical College and developer of the LifeSkills Training (LST) program. "Investing in programs that are proven to work will ensure that the limited funds available for prevention actually help the people they are intended to help."

LST is a highly acclaimed, evidence-based substance abuse and violence prevention program that has been used in schools and communities throughout the US and in 39 countries around the world. More than 35 studies published in scientific peer-reviewed journals show that the program is effective, produces lasting results, and can clearly save taxpayers a good deal of money. A study by the National Institute on Drug Abuse found the LST program also lowers opioid misuse.

The Commission released its final report and recommendations in April 2018 and found that despite the evidence, key state agencies are spending less than 1% on prevention. The report highlights that not all prevention programs and practices are created equal, as well as the importance of investing the Commonwealth's limited resources into prevention programs such as LST that have been proven to work.

About Botvin LifeSkills Training      

Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST) is an evidence-based substance abuse and violence prevention program. LST has been extensively tested and proven to reduce tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drug use by as much as 80%. Long-term follow-up studies show that it produces prevention effects that are durable and long-lasting. Visit for more information.

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Last Updated: 29-Aug-2018