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Substance Abuse Prevention Program for Adolescents with FASD (IRT, NIAAA)

In response to the death of Interventions designed specifically for adolescents with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), and the need for evidence-based preventive intervention programs for this population, Cell Podium is supporting North Carolina-based Innovation Research and Training (IRT) and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) in an intervention pilot to benefit adolescents with FASD at risk for substance use and abuse.

IRT is evaluating the effectiveness of its Aware Program, an online mindfulness-based substance abuse prevention program for adolescents with FASD. The content of the Aware Program addresses the unique challenges that exist for providing adolescents with FASD the skills needed to control their feelings and behaviors in order to make healthy decisions. The final Aware Program includes four courses, each representing the foundations of mindfulness (awareness of body, feelings, thoughts, and relationships).

Participating adolescents interact with a web-based learning management system (LMS) that guides them through the self-paced Aware Program. This same LMS instructs the CMS to send refresher cel phone videos to the participants. The LMS determines from the state of each participant in the Aware Program when it is appropriate to send a mobile video, and which video to send.

The Aware Program differs in several ways from all other m-Health campaigns in this report:

  1. No person administers a campaign in the CMS, not is a campaign programmed into the CMS. Instead, the CMS broadcasts are directed by another machine, namely the Aware Program LMS.
  2. The CMS relays all feedback received from participants to the controlling machine. Analytics incorporating both web-based and mobile-based participant activity are generated by the LMS.
  3. Because the program involves children, the CMS and LMS are housed in highly-secure environments meeting the Federal Desktop Core Configuration (FDCC) and use Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP)-validated tools with FDCC Scanner capability. All communications between the LMS and the CMS is encrypted and secure.