University of Minnesota Study Finds Know the Truth™ Program Effective at Preventing Drug and Alcohol Use Among Teens

Know the Truth„¢ (KTT), the substance use prevention program of Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge, is kicking off its program for the 2018 “ 2019 academic year. By May 2019, presenters will speak to more than 160 high schools and middle schools throughout the state, reaching an estimated 60,000 students.

Since the program began 12 years ago, it has seen significant success in helping prevent drug and alcohol use among Minnesotas young people. Students take surveys before and after the presentations. These surveys show that after hearing the KTT presentation, nearly 90 percent of students made a commitment not to use illegal substances and 75 percent vowed not to use alcohol before the age of 21.

An independent study conducted by an outside research evaluator from the University of Minnesota corroborates the effectiveness of the KTT program. The study compared attitudes towards substance use among students who participated in the Know the Truth program with students who participated in only the standard health curriculum. Participation in either group had a generally positive impact on overall healthy attitudes toward substance use and the risks associated with it. However, nearly one in four students in the KTT group (23.7 percent) reported an overall increase in healthy attitudes, while only about one in 12 in the control group (8.1 percent) reported an increase. Regarding prescription pills including opioids, KTT had a larger net increase in the number of students who reported healthier attitudes toward prescription drugs after participation (54.3 percent) compared to the control group (17.6 percent).

Were thrilled to see a third-party study confirm what weve known, says Tracee Anderson, director of prevention and community engagement with Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge. The Know the Truth„¢ program works and helps save lives, especially since the vast majority of Americans who struggle with addiction started smoking, drinking, or using drugs before age 18.

The program utilizes a peer-to-peer format, where Know the Truth presenters “ often just a few years older than the students “ share their personal struggles with substance use. This format allows students to open up and helps Know the Truth bridge the gap between the students and the parents, care givers, teachers and community leaders who support them. In most cases, the Know the Truth presentations are included in standard health curriculum, embedded into the drug and alcohol unit.

A student at Rogers High School who recently participated in the program says, I think this was a great experience. This will stick with me in the future. I think it is so much more relevant when its coming from people who have gone through it.

In addition to classroom presentations, students are encouraged to seek continued dialogue with the presenters through social media, reaching out to @knowthetruthmn on Twitter, and through the text hotline at 612-440-3967.

Know the Truth is built on evidence-based principles, explains Anderson. We believe if we can change students attitudes towards drugs and alcohol, we can change their behavior.

About Know the Truth Know the Truth (KTT) is the substance-use prevention program of Minnesota Adult & Teen Challenge. KTT works within communities to help prevent teenage substance use by sharing personal stories about the struggles with addiction and by presenting students with information about the dangers of alcohol and drug use. Each year, KTT speaks in more than 160 high schools and middle schools and reaches more than 60,000 students.

Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge
Tracee Anderson, 715-441-4971
[email protected]
Cassie Roman, 262-510-5624
[email protected]