Areas of Focus
Mathewson Early Prevention Program (MEPP)
A 2015 study by Transforming Youth Recovery (TYR), Closing the Gap: An examination of access to Best-In Class evidence-based alcohol and other drug prevention programs for K-12 students in the U.S., revealed that between the total number of K-12 students in the United States and the number of those students who have access to effective, evidence-based alcohol and other drug prevention programs, there is a gap of alarming proportions.
To close that gap, TYR offered three broad actions that could help build capacity within schools and local communities to identify and implement effective substance misuse prevention and intervention services so as to close the access gap across the U.S. Those actions include the following:
Action 1: Identify the Best-In-Class prevention programs that are currently available to K-12 students in the United States.
Action 2: Within those Best-In-Class programs, find and map the specific prevention practices that have proven to be the most effective.
Action 3: Accelerate the implementation of the most effective prevention practices through a network of parents, schools, government agencies, organizations and communities.
From these completed, comprehensive phases, the Mathewson Early Prevention Program (MEPP) was conceptualized and will soon be a reality. In 2017, a grant will be negotiated between TYR and the Washoe County School District to fund a 13-year longitudinal program study. This program will infuse evidence-based, comprehensive prevention curriculum, including social emotion learning (SEL), into the studies of all 65,000 students, Pre-K through 12; family engagement will also be an integral component. Rigorous research will study and document the effects of the program on substance misuse in these developmental years. Detailed documentation and findings will be shared to inform other communities throughout the nation.