A drug-prevention program known as “Communities That Care” has been shown to lead to lower rates of delinquency and illegal substance abuse among students in 8th grade.
The findings come in a randomized study published this month in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine. Researchers tracked students in 24 small towns for three years as they moved from 5th to 8th grade.
Compared with their peers in towns without programs, the researchers found, 8th grade students in towns with a Communities That Care prevention system in place had lower rates of smokeless-tobacco use, binge drinking, and other risky behaviors.
Developed by researchers at the University of Washington in Seattle, the program enlists stakeholders from across the community and uses surveys of young people to profile communities. The profiles are used to help participants choose tested prevention strategies tailored to their local needs.
A version of this article appeared in the September 23, 2009 edition of Education Week