KCSC School Board briefed on PreVenture Program

James Master

Savi Brenneke, director of policy and research with Overdose Lifeline, gave a detailed description of the PreVenture Program that is being utilized at the high school to the Knox Community School Corporation (KCSC) School Board at its meeting on March 20. Knox High School (KHS) Principal Dr. Elizabeth Ratliff stated that the school has been seeking different methods to aid students that suffer from substance abuse, mental health issues, and other behavioral problems.
"The new program we have is PreVenture which is a more targeted program that focuses on individual's personalities and how their personalities reflect their coping and choices in using substances," said Brenneke. She went on to say that the program receives funding from the state's Division of Mental Health and Addiction to provide PreVenture to nine counties in Indiana. They have recently started the program in six schools with the approval of Oregon-Davis School Corporation at its prior school board meeting.
"We're serving all of Starke County and working at developing this as a sustainable program," said Brenneke.
How the program works, they screen all ninth graders using a substance risk profile scale which will look at how the students are thinking and processing certain situations. Once the screening is complete then they will be scored. Students who are at the greatest risk for one of the four personality types. Those types include anxiety, sensitivity, impulsivity, and negative thinking and sensation seeking.
"These are the four personalities most correlated with substance use later on in life," said Brenneke.
Brenneke assured the board that before the students are screened there is a consent form that is sent to parents. According to Brenneke, the program utilizes passive consent meaning that students only return the consent form if they do not wish to participate. She stated that it allows for more students in need to get the program. If the board wished, normal consent procedures could be implemented.
Students who are identified in need of the program will be grouped in facilitator ran groups of six to 14 students. Students would participate in two 90 minute sessions.
"So our facilitator from Overdose Lifeline, who has clinical experience and training, would then work with the students on motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy. Really helping them understand what triggers their thinking. How that thinking results in their behavior. Then how they can make other choices and do goal setting around that personality," said Brenneke.
For the full article, look for it in the March 30 edition of The Starke County Leader.