To help address the issues surrounding substance abuse in Lancaster County, Lancaster General Health educators have been working closely with schools since 2002 to promote The Botvin LifeSkills Training (LST) Program. 
 
Funded by LG Health, LST is a substance abuse prevention program proven to reduce the risks of alcohol, tobacco, drug abuse, and violence by targeting the major social and psychological factors that promote the initiation of substance use and other risky behaviors.  Rather than teaching information about the dangers of drug abuse, LST promotes healthy alternatives to risky behavior through activities designed to:

  • Teach students the necessary skills to resist social (peer) pressures to smoke, drink, and use drugs

  • Help students to develop greater self-esteem and self-confidence

  • Enable students to effectively cope with anxiety

  • Increase their knowledge of the immediate consequences of substance abuse

  • Enhance cognitive and behavioral competency to reduce and prevent a variety of health risk behaviors

Schools with the program see a decrease in physical aggression, verbal aggression, fighting and delinquency.  
 
In 2002, Warwick School district in Lititz, PA was the first district in Lancaster County to adopt the LST curriculum. Over the course of three years, LG Health educators implemented the program in classrooms and “train the trainer” programs for teachers. Throughout the last several years, additional school districts and independent schools adopted the LST curriculum in selected grade levels.
 
More recently, LG Health educators have been working closely with E-Town Communities that Care and the Elizabethtown School District to implement the LST curriculum in grades three through eight. Columbia Borough School District has elected to adopt the program district-wide, implementing the curriculum into grades three through nine.
 
For the 2017-18 school year the LST program will reach over 5,000 students in Lancaster County. 
 
For more information contact Sue Lackmann, LG Health Educator at selackma@lghealth.org.

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