A new study has revealed some of the most effective methods that can help prevent drug abuse in adolescence. This is a study that was undertaken by researchers from Canada and Pakistan. After reviewing 46 methods, their report was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health. To determine which interventions topped the list, they considered individual methods and outcomes, actual effects of the methods, the risk of bias, and methodology, among other vital parameters. This study considered adolescent interventions for the prevention of smoking or use of tobacco, drug abuse, and alcohol use.
What causes adolescent drug abuse?
Before looking at the most effective interventions uncovered by the study mentioned above, it is critical to know the root cause of drug abuse among teens. Mental disorders, genetics, peer pressure, family problems and the general availability of drugs are the major causes. In the midst of all these risk factors, early intervention for adolescents can help reduce the risk of drug abuse significantly in the years to come. Drug abuse statistics are alarming with 70% of all seniors in high school having tried alcohol. In the same group, 40% of teens will have smoked or used tobacco. Prescription drugs are also among the culprits with 20% of high school seniors having abused them.
Which are the best approaches to keep teen drug abuse at bay?
According to the research alluded to above, the most effective interventions to prevent smoking and use of tobacco in adolescents include the following: intense family-based interventions, preventive school-based interventions, message broadcasting, and community-based interventions. When it comes to prevention of alcohol abuse, methods employed in educational settings were the most effective. These are interventions that focus on personal goal setting among others. Overall, the research found that elements of social skill building, anti-drug information, and school-based programs work together to help prevent drug abuse among teens.
Cesar Gamboa provides more details in an excellent overview article found on the addiction now blog.
At Casa Pacifica, we have programs in place that can help teens to overcome drug and alcohol abuse. The Change Project is a substance abuse recovery program we employ which is based the Matrix Model which was developed at UCLA for young adults. Key elements that are included with this program are 8 early recovery group sessions, 32 group sessions involving relapse prevention, regular attendance to twelve-step meetings off-campus, family education and support groups, family and individual psychological treatment, periodic random drug screening, ongoing healthy reinforcement to encourage continuing participation, and finally abstinence.