This is a program we have worked to get funded since 2016. And while I’ve spent three years trying to bring it to Virginia, Jasmin Vassileva Phd has spent seven years. VCU Institute of Drug & Alcohol Studies and Beacon Tree Foundation are behind the grant.
This will be the first study in the U.S. on this intervention.
Preventure is an evidence-based prevention intervention included in the first-ever US Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health.
The intervention is associated with 30-80% reductions in alcohol and drug use in adolescents in schools at 3-year follow-up. It is one of the most effective prevention programs with evidence-based results from Canada, UK, Australia, and other countries.
It will be implemented in fall of 2019 at four area schools and one high school, Carver College & Career Academy, is doing a test run February 2019.
- Carver College & Career Academy, (Alternative High School) CCPS
- Midlothian High School, CCPS
- St Gertrude Richmond, Private High School
- Binford Middle School, RPS
- Jasmin Vassileva PhD
- Nina Schroeder M.S.W
- Anne Moss Rogers
- Eric Faw, CCPS
- Julie Mathers Pickels, LCSW, C-SSWS, School Social Worker, CCPS
- Samantha Brown, School Counselor, CCPS
- Katharine Goins, Teacher, CCPS
- Juliane Codd, Teacher, RPS
VCU Institute of Drug & Alcohol Studies will be running the study. My job is to head up communication and connect dots.
The study has two main goals:
- To assess the feasibility of administering Preventure using a novel teacher-delivered format in four diverse local schools in Richmond. (Instead of the less scalable model of school counselor delivered intervention)
- To evaluate the feasibility of assessing its standard primary (alcohol and drug use) and secondary (mental health) outcomes, as well as a novel neurocognitive outcome (delay discounting) at baseline and follow-up. Delay discounting is the decline in the present value of a reward with delay to its receipt. Think delayed gratification.
How does it work?
The program focuses on teaching at-risk teens the life skills to manage one of the four personality traits that put them at risk for addiction: sensation seeking, impulsiveness, anxiety sensitivity, and hopelessness.
- A 24-question assessment is given to identify high risk students. About 45% qualify
- Many other risk factors will be studied including more detail on impulsivity
- Two 90-minute coping skills workshops are offered to these students. Two workshops for each trait
- The workshops teach students techniques to address their most troublesome trait and encourages them to use these tools
- Each student is provided a skills manual for their high risk trait, which they can keep (Picture above)
- Each school participating in the project is offered training workshops which will allow them to continue to provide the intervention to future students in their schools
- Professor Jasmin Vassileva PhD from VCU Institute of Drug & Alcohol Studies (IDAS) and Beacon Tree Foundation, are spearheading the effort to bring this program to Virginia.
The coping skills taught will offer kids the skills they need to manage relationships and curb high risk behaviors associated with those personality traits such as drinking and doing drugs, ending up in jail, dropping out or failing in school, dying by accident or by suicide.