Social skills training forms an integral part of both prevention and intervention efforts in addressing the negative effects of substance use. Although former First Lady Nancy Reagan adopted the simplistic slogan "Just Say No" as the centerpiece of her efforts to prevent the initiation of young people into alcohol and other drug use, for many young people and their older adult counterparts, avoiding first or continued substance use is not that simple. The ability to effectively interact with others in an assertive fashion is critical to avoidance of substance use initiation as well as to the process of beginning to change substance use or remain abstinent following a decision to do so.

Social skills training arises from a cognitive social-learning theory perspective that holds that substance ...

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