Alcohol Education Guide
to Reducing Harmful Drinking

LifeSkills Training Middle School Program



Developer: Dr. Gilbert J. Botvin, National Health Promotion Associates, Inc. (NHPA)

Program Overview: This school-based curriculum aims to reduce alcohol consumption and drug and tobacco use among middle school students.

Program Design: LifeSkills Training program curriculum is delivered throughout the middle school years, in three levels. Lessons are taught in 30-45 minute class sessions one to three times per week. Each level includes a manual for teachers, a student guide, a CD-ROM, and website access. 

Program learning objectives include:

  • Personal self-management skills
  • General social skills
  • Drug resistance skills

More information, including sample lessons can be found on the program website.

Evaluation: Numerous studies have been conducted to assess the effectiveness of LST Middle School on changing alcohol, tobacco, and drug related behaviors.

Key findings:

  • The original study of this program's effectiveness was a randomized trial conducted among a middle-class white population. The analysis separated intervention groups according to program fidelity levels, and found more significant results among schools with high program fidelity. Analysis of results of programs with high fidelity found statistically significant reductions in monthly and weekly cigarette smoking; prevalence rates of weekly, heavy, and problematic drinking; and weekly marijuana use1
  • An evaluation of the program effectiveness when used with predominantly minority students in New York City, found that the students who participated in the program experienced statistically significant reductions in tobacco use, alcohol consumption, and marijuana use (quantity and frequency) when compared to control groups at one year follow up2.
  • Another study of the effectiveness of the program in New York City students found that the program produced statistically significant reductions in the proportion of students reporting binge drinking at one and two year follow ups. Additionally, this study found significant program effects for drinking knowledge, attitudes, and normative beliefs3.

Program Website: lifeskillstraining.com


1. Botvin, G. J., Baker, E., Dusenbury, L., Botvin, E. M., & Diaz, T. (1995). Long-term follow-up results of a randomized drug abuse prevention trial in a white middle-class populationJournal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 273(14), 1106-1112.

2. Botvin, G. J., Griffin, K. W., Diaz, T., & Ilfill-Williams, M. (2001). Drug abuse prevention among minority adolescents: Posttest and one-year follow-up of a school based preventive interventionPrevention Science, Vol. 2(1), 1-13.

3. Botvin, G. J., Griffin, K. W., Diaz, T., & Ilfill-Williams, M. (2001). Preventing binge drinking during early adolescence: One- and two-year follow-up of a school-based preventive interventionPsychology of Addictive Behaviors, Vol. 15(4), 360-365.

Target Audience: High school (15-18 years old), Middle school (10-14 years)
Issues: Underage Drinking
Setting: Schools
Approach: Life Skills
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