Life Skills Training


What is Life Skills Training?

Botvin Life Skills Training was developed by Dr. Gilbert J. Botvin Ph.D, professor of Public Health and Psychiatry at Cornell University’s Weill Medical College. It is ground breaking substance abuse prevention program based on more than 25 years of scientific research and is the top research-based substance abuse prevention program in the United States. 

Life Skills Training is an evidence-based curriculum proven to target the fundamental reason why students engage in behaviors that put them in risk, reduce and prevent a variety of health risk behaviors.

Studies show that the effectiveness of the Botvin Life Skills Training can reduce the prevalence of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drug use by more than 80%. It has also been proven to reduce polydrug use by up to 66% making it the most effective prevention program of its kind. Effects have been proven to last up to 6 years; these results can be found in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Program Structure 

The program includes skills such as:

  • Self-image and Self-improvement,
  • Making decisions,
  • Smoking and Biofeedback,
  • Advertising,
  • Violence and the Media,
  • Coping with Anxiety,
  • Coping with Anger,
  • Communication Skills, and
  • Social Skills.


The program offered consists of 10 sessions with each session being 40-45 minutes long. The program can be taught either as an intensive mini-series (taught every day, or two to three times a week consecutively) or a more extended schedule (once a week for 10 weeks). For more details, please contact CCCSA at (403)265-8446. 

Why use Botvin Life Skills Training?

Botvin Life Skills Training helps promote healthy alternatives to risky behaviour through activities designed to help youth by:

  • Helping them resist social (peer) pressures to smoking, drinking and using drugs,
  • Develop a greater self-esteem, self-mastery, and self-confidence,
  • Effectively cope with social anxiety, 
  • Increase youth’s knowledge of the immediate and long-term consequences of substance abuse, and
  • Enhance cognitive and behavioral competency to reduce and prevent a variety of health risk behaviors.

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