Researchers at Pennsylvania State and Iowa State Universities found that children who were participants in a resilience program in middle school were less likely to abuse substances after high school graduation. The program was known as PROSPER: PROmoting School-community-university Partnerships to Enhance Resilience. PROSPER is offered in middle school because this is when adolescents are most likely to face exposure to substances. The researchers at the university also found that “41 percent reduction in lifetime use of methamphetamine within a group of more than 1,900 19-year-olds, randomly selected from the full PROSPER sample of over 11,000 youth who joined the study in 6th grade” (Science Daily 2017). The study also showed that PROSPER communities have a much lower level of drug-related issues when compared to the control communities.
Previous research has shown that when a teen starts using substances early in life, they are more likely to develop dependence in their adult life. They are also more likely to face other problems that sprout from substance-use, including addiction, disease, injury, mental disorders, and even death. The cost of illicit drugs, tobacco, and alcohol impacts the U.S. economy very greatly. If PROSPER-like programs are implemented around the country, there will be a significant change. PROSPER is also meant to reduce risky behaviors, enhance development, and strengthen families.
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