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Considerable progress has been made toward developing effective approaches to the prevention of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drug use. Universal school-based approaches have received considerable attention since schools have traditionally provide a logical locus for reaching a large number of adolescents in a structured setting. The Life Skills Training (LST) approach has been extensively tested and is one of the most widely disseminated evidence-based prevention programs. However, schools have been slow to adopt evidence-based approaches such LST.

Gilbert Botvin, professor of public health and psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College, presents an overview of advances in drug abuse prevention, findings from two decades of research testing the LST approach, and a discussion of the many challenges of translating prevention research into practice.

Botvin delivered the College of Human Ecology's John Doris Memorial Lecture on April 6, 2011. The lecture series was established in honor of the founding director of Family Life Development Center.