Preventure Adolescent Drug Prevention Program for Virginia

cover-letter-57c72b575f9b5829f46c27d9-768x512In order to see that the evidence-based Preventure Adolescent Drug Prevention Program implemented here in Virginia, we need letters of support from educators.

More on Preventure:

To clarify, the letter is not committing schools to anything

A letter shows interest on the part of the school to participate in such trial. The main purpose of these letters is to show to NIH that it is feasible to conduct such a complex trial in Virginia as we propose, which is critical for getting studies funded.

Writing a letter now is not binding, the actual commitment from the schools will come later, after (and if) the grant gets funded. That’s when VCU will establish agreements with each participating school, which will require commitment.

Beacon Tree is a sub recipient with VCU Drug & Alcohol Studies in this grant to help execute the program here in Virginia with “boots on the ground” assistance.

  • We need 30 letters from 30 different high school principals before the February 3, 2017 NIH grant application deadline
  • We also need letters from counselors, teachers, school board members, superintendents, task forces, non-profits, legislators

What happens if we do not get those letters of support by Feb 3?

We will have to delay grant submission until June, which will then delay implementing this program that has shown to reduce adolescent drug and alcohol addiction by up to 80% in schools at 3 year follow up.

Basically, it’s life skills training delivered in two 90 minute sessions.

This program is one of the very few included in the US Surgeon General’s landmark Report on Addiction. Yet it’s never been implemented in the US. Virginia could be first.

Download the invitation and information about all that is required for Preventure

Here are the steps: (below these steps is a recap of Preventure)

1. Download this template as an example of a letter of support. (word doc)

2. Copy and paste the text onto your school letterhead. Feel free to edit

3. Sign the letter. We can accept multiple letters from the same school. Letters from educators include but are not limited to: teachers, counselors, principals, librarians. Letters from principals count toward the minimum. But a big show of support is likely to move the grant to approval faster

4. Scan and send to jasmin.vassileva (at) This email address is in the flyer

5. Or you can sign and mail to the address below as soon as possible. Remember it’s a Feb 3 deadline.

Jasmin Vassileva, Ph.D.
VCU Institute for Drug and Alcohol Studies
203 E. Cary Street, suite 202A
Richmond VA 23219

Preventure: Substance use prevention intervention shown to reduce drug and alcohol use in adolescents by 30-80%

Description: Preventure is an evidence-based prevention intervention recently featured in the New York Times and the Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health.

It was developed in Canada by Dr. Patricia Conrod, a Professor of Psychiatry at University of Montreal. Though never tested in the United States, studies from Canada, UK, Australia, Netherlands and the Czech Republic show that the intervention is associated with 30-80% reductions in alcohol and drug use in adolescents at three-year follow-up.

Dr. Jasmin Vassileva’s research team at VCU is the only group in the United States that has been fully trained by Dr. Conrod in how to deliver Preventure and will seek federal funding to conduct a clinical trial with Preventure in Virginia. This provides a unique opportunity to make Virginia the first state where Preventure could be put into effect.

Risk: Onset of alcohol or drug use before 14 years of age is strongly related to increased risk of developing substance use disorders and associated mental health and physical problems, suicidal behavior, injuries, risky sexual behavior, compromised academic performance, and school drop-out.

Primary Goal: To delay onset and reduce rates of adolescent alcohol and drug use and associated mental health problems and risk behaviors.

Secondary Goal: To examine neuropsychological factors implicated in the predisposition to substance misuse in adolescents and to evaluate the beneficial effects of Preventure on decision-making, cognitive development, academic performance, and mental health.

More detail continued in the first link below.

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