Organization: Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children (CASA) Agencies: Amy Sutnick Plotch Communications; People Tech Connections Timeframe: 2009 Years ago, drug abuse prevention initiatives were aimed at teens, the feeling being they were at a vulnerable turning point in their lives. Getting them while they were young was key to steering them away from addiction. But over the years, that age limit has lowered appreciably as research has indicated that many substance abusers started their addictions when they were preteens. Mindful of these findings, CASASTART, a prominent substance abuse prevention program whose parent organization is The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA*) at Columbia University, homed in on a younger and even more vulnerable group—8-to 13-year-olds—with the express purpose of helping them to stay in school, off of drugs and alcohol and out of trouble with the law. For many years, the CASASTART program had relied on trainers traveling to conduct on-site workshops for community organizations, schools and police departments.
Case Study: A Drug-Prevention Training Toolkit Is Designed With Pre-Teens—and Potential Program Donors—in Mind
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