Group targets schools for substance abuse prevention


A non-profit organization created in 2013 is partnering with the William S. Reyes Elementary School and Hopwood Middle School to pilot as substance abuse prevention program for schools, families, and communities.

Achieve CNMI Inc. is working on spearheading the evidence-based program called The Botvin LifeSkills Training, better known as LST, which hopes to build the community’s resistance to drugs.

Under a grant awarded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Achieve CNMI, Inc. will work with CHCC’s Community Guidance Center-Substance Abuse Prevention Services Unit to accomplish the LST program learning objectives, in which participants gain skills in personal self-management, social competency, and resistance to drugs.

Personal management skills involve students developing skills that enhance their self-esteem, develop problem-solving skills, help them reduce stress and anxiety, and manage anger.

Students gain skills to meet personal challenges such as overcoming shyness, communicating clearly, building relationships, and avoiding violence in social competency. Finally, students build effective defenses against pressures to use tobacco, alcohol, and other drugs.

The first cohort of instructors is composed of teachers, a counselor and an administrator from the participating schools. All instructors have undergone a provider training online, showing their commitment and dedication to help students gain valuable skills needed to accomplish the program learning objectives.

The instructors were required to complete three sessions in the early morning hours due to the time difference between Saipan and New York. The first session was a trainer-led live workshop. The self-paced course was completed on their own time before the third and final trainer-led live session.

WSR is currently implementing the LST this summer for students and parents.

Achieve CNMI, Inc., hopes to send four of its members to attend the Training of Trainers this August in Lakewood, Colorado to build local capacity and program sustainability. For more information about our program or if you are a teacher who would like to implement LST at your school, email (PR)

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