Channing Bete Company
One Community Place
South Deerfield, MA 01373-0200
Phone: 1-877-896-8532

Study Finds the Guiding Good Choices® Program -- A Families That Care® Program -- Yields Measurable Benefit-Cost Ratio

South Deerfield, MA -- The Channing Bete Company is pleased to report that a study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol found that the Guiding Good Choices program (formerly Preparing For The Drug Free Years) yields a benefit-cost ratio of $5.85 for each dollar invested, further proving the long-term effectiveness of this acclaimed substance abuse prevention program.

The four-year study -- led by Richard Spoth, Ph.D., of Iowa State University at Ames and funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute of Mental Health -- measured the long-term effects of the Guiding Good Choices program on substance use among 10th graders who were exposed to the program in sixth grade. Participants in the program showed lower rates of initiation in all five substance abuse behaviors (using alcohol, cigarettes, or marijuana; using alcohol without parental permission; and becoming drunk) versus those in the control group, with significant decreases in alcohol use and new marijuana use. Other findings showed rates of new marijuana use and becoming drunk to be 1.5 and 1.2 times greater, respectively, for controls than for those who had gone through the program.

Recent statistics published by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism reveal that the annual economic costs of alcohol abuse in 1998 were estimated to be $185 billion. The Iowa researchers conservatively estimated that prevention of a single case of adult alcohol abuse produces an average savings of $119,633 in avoided costs to society.

Acting NIDA director Dr. Glen R. Hanson observed that "this study demonstrates that investing dollars in preventive intervention programs is not only a good public health policy, but it is a good economic practice as well."

The Guiding Good Choices program is a research-based drug-prevention program that aims to reduce substance abuse among teens by teaching parents effective prevention skills before their children enter adolescence. The key element in the program's success is parent involvement. Parents learn effective parenting techniques, family management strategies, and how to communicate peer pressure refusal skills to their children. The development of such skills has been linked to delayed onset or reduction of adolescent substance abuse.

"The study demonstrates that brief family interventions can reduce drug use among people during the high risk years when they are making the transition from childhood to adolescence," said Dr. Spoth.

The Guiding Good Choices program was developed by J. David Hawkins, Ph.D., and Richard F. Catalano, Ph.D. -- professors of social work and directors of the Social Development Research Group, University of Washington. The program is available exclusively through the Channing Bete Company.

• The Guiding Good Choices program has been honored with numerous citations of excellence, including Exemplary 1 Program (the highest possible rating), Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; Promising Program, Department of Education's Expert Panel, Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program; and Promising Program, Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development, University of Colorado.

In addition to the Guiding Good Choices program, the Channing Bete Company offers an array of nationally acclaimed products and tested programs, focusing on areas such as smoking prevention and cessation, substance abuse and violence prevention, and school success. The company helps organizations and communities with their prevention needs through education and awareness, community mobilization, needs assessment, plan development, and program implementation and evaluation. The Channing Bete Company also provides publishing, promotion, and fulfillment services for the American Heart Association and Prevent Child Abuse America.

For additional information on this program and on other prevention science programs available through the Channing Bete Company, please call 1-877-896-8532.