Botvin Lifeskills is an evidence-based Life Skills Training (LST). The target population is 6-9th graders at risk from Belen, Los Lunas, and School of Dreams. This program works closely with schools and JPO for referrals on minor offenses. LST is a classroom-based tobacco, alcohol, and drug use prevention program for junior high school students. The goals of LST are to prevent tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drug use by targeting key risk and protective factors associated with these behaviors. LST has five key components: cognitive, self-improvement, decision-making, coping with anxiety, and social skills training.
The LST program is guided by a comprehensive theoretical framework that addresses multiple risk and protective factors, provides developmentally appropriate information relevant to the target age group and the important life transitions they face, includes comprehensive personal and social skills training to build resilience and help students navigate developmental tasks, and uses interactive teaching methods (e.g., facilitated discussion, structured small group activities, role-playing scenarios) to stimulate participation and promote the acquisition of skills.
The specific program activities are based on cognitive-behavioral principles, including role-playing, modeling, immediate feedback, and reinforcement of positive behaviors. Students are encouraged to practice lessons of the day through homework assignments. The LST approach aims to reduce substance use (and uptake, in particular) by increasing coping, refusal, social skills, and knowledge in the participants. The prevention of substance use is understood in terms of social influence theory and is treated through enhancing both competence and knowledge to encourage resilience.