Iowa State University’s landed a grant of nearly $350,000 to prevent the use of Ecstasy and other club drugs as well as methamphetamine. Jerry Stubben is a professor at ISU who’s already spent the past three years working with substance abuse prevention and treatment among youth. He helped adapt a program called “Re-Connecting Youth,” and found out Ecstasy is one of the fastest-growing drugs in Iowa. ReConnecting Youth is a program presented at junior high and high-school classes to talk about substances that often are abused. He says the program teaches kids about why there is substance abuse and what things like alcohol and drugs will do physically, mentally, and what they’ll do to your life. He says the kids bring a lot of stories to class, and many already live in homes where people use drugs. He says they don’t aim to create total abstainers, but teach kids what things like alcohol will do to you, so when they grow up they’ll be able to handle it: and as an example he explains 67-percent of the adult population drinks in Iowa. Professor Stubben says ReConnecting Youth already has proven its worth, in improved grades and attendance among kids deemed at-risk. He’s also heard about the studies showing drug-prevention programs like DARE don’t show any results. Stubben says that’s “because of the dose,” explaining a program given 11 times a year wouldn’t work any better than having 11 classes in algebra, instead of a full-year term of 80 or more class sessions. The 345-thousand-dollar grant comes from the U.S. Center for Substance Abuse and Prevention and federal Health and Human Services agency.
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