Skills enhancement to prevent substance abuse among American Indian adolescents.
Skills enhancement programs to prevent drug abuse have shown promise in tests with majority-culture adolescents. To date few applications of this preventive strategy have been evaluated with American Indian youth. A culturally tailored 10-session skills enhancement program was delivered in reservation and nonreservation settings in the Pacific Northwest. At 6-month follow-up, compared with test-only control condition subjects, intervention condition subjects had better knowledge of drug effects, better interpersonal skills for managing pressures to use drugs, and lower rates of alcohol, marijuana, and inhalant use. Intervention condition subjects were also less likely to label or consider themselves users of these substances. The findings suggest that behavioral skills training approaches hold promise for reducing substance use and abuse among American Indians.