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Development of personal and social skills in a classroom prevents later drug use and alcohol abuse, and influence-related risk factors. However, clinical trials on the potential impact of such programs from low- or middle-income countries remain limited. Lions Quest Skills for Adolescence (LQSFA), a school-based prevention intervention supporting life skills, was implemented in three South East European countries. This was a collaboration between the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the Lions Clubs International Foundation, and the Ministries of Education of Serbia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Montenegro. The pilot was a multisite non-randomized trial. A total of 2964 elementary school students received the intervention through 232 instructors trained by the same internationally certified trainer. These were compared to 2232 students following the regular curriculum, which does not include LQFSA, in the same elementary schools. The assessment was done at the beginning and at the end of the same academic year (period of 10 months). Despite limited fluctuations, the overall results indicated an encouraging outcome on the current use of substances (alcohol, cigarettes, and marijuana) as well as intention to using these substances in the next 3 months among current users. This study attempts to address this aforementioned gap in literature and contributes to the body of research demonstrating the value, feasibility, and transferability of life skills programs in achieving prevention outcomes in South East Europe. Moreover, it paves the way to a future randomized clinical trial to further corroborate the results, overcoming limitation in current study design.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Prevention science : the official journal of the Society for Prevention Research
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