Iowa State University research finds programs designed to reduce the use of alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana among kids, can also work in preventing methamphetamine use. Richard Spoth, one of the researchers who studied the drug prevention programs, says findings suggest that if you took a high school senior class with 200 students with no intervention, 15 would try meth. The same class with intervention would have only five students try meth, a two-thirds lower level of use.

Spoth says they work with the I-S-U extension department and found that well-designed and researched programs worked the best in prevention. Spoth says the programs focus on building life skills and positive youth development. He says the programs are rigorously tested and “delivered well.”

Spoth says research sheds some light on ways to prevent meth use among kids.
He says to their knowledge, these kinds of prevention results on meth use have not been shown before. Spoth says results were found even though the interventions were relatively short, and the subject of meth was not explicitly addressed. He says instead of making meth the explicit target, they focused on reducing the risk factors and increasing the protection factors that keep kids from drugs.

Spoth says this study shows the importance of finding the proper methods to teach and help kids stay away from drugs. Spoth says they think the studies make the point it is better to stop drug abuse before it starts, as he says meth is a “tremendously big” problem in this country. The studies focused on over 13-hundred sixth and seventh grade students in rural Iowa public schools.