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More than 60% of drug overdose deaths involve an opioid (including prescription opioids and heroin), and 91 Americans die every day from an opioid overdose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As Congress discusses how to address this growing epidemic, Iowa State University researchers are guiding the national President's Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis.
 
Richard Spoth, director of Iowa State's Partnerships in Prevention Science Institute which is newly housed under the Department of Human Development and Family Studies, served as a congressional briefing panelist this summ er, discussing community-based prevention programs. Bridging science and practice, Spoth recently received the national Translation Science Award by the Society for Prevention Research.
 
In this month's edition of Psychological Medicine, Spoth and his colleagues published the PROSPER (PROmoting School-community-university Partnerships to Enhance Resilience) model study . The study involved nearly 2,000 19-year-olds who took part in programs provided by the PROSPER model seven years earlier. The research findings noted a 41% reduction of substance misuse by youth relative to a control group.
 
"The findings have significant implications for the future of our nation's public health," Spoth said. "If implemented broadly across communities, the PROSPER delivery system model has the potential to reduce substance misuse over the long-term and benefit many."
 
PROSPER is an extension-powered, community-based preventive intervention delivery system offered to adolescents ages 11 to 13 - when exposure to controlled substances begins, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. The recently published study shows the program has lasting results.
 
"We already knew that programs delivered through the PROSPER model help reduce substance misuse and student conduct problems during middle and high school," Spoth said.  "But now we see its impact extending beyond high school into early adulthood. This is important news, given that the prevalence of illicit drug use is highest among young people between the ages of 19 and 22."
 
Did you know? Researchers from the Partnerships in Prevention Science Institute have secured more than $51 million in grants since 1991, primarily from the National Institutes of Health.
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The Alliance for Iowa State is a coalition of Iowa State alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff, and friends.
The Alliance advocates Iowa State University's land grant mission throughout Iowa
while focusing its advocacy on state legislators and public policy makers.

The Alliance for Iowa State is maintained by the Iowa State University Alumni Association.