A school-based substance abuse intervention, Take Charge of Your Life (TCYL), caused significantly higher usage of alcohol and cigarettes among participants. White students were more likely than non-white students to complete the program.
This article derives constructive lessons from the Adolescent Substance Abuse Prevention Study (ASAPS), an assessment of the TCYL program. ASAPS employed trained D.A.R.E. instructor-officers to administer TCYL lessons to students in seventh and ninth grades. ASAPS was a randomized field trial that included 83 school districts. Student participants provided data through seven self-administered surveys from seventh to 11th grades.
ASAPS contributes critical lessons to the body of research on adolescent substance abuse treatment by revealing deficiencies of TCYL. This report opens up the question of whether prevention programs should be universal in nature.