Intervention Reduces Teen Risk of Substance Use and Abuse

The education our children receive within the walls of local schools is more involved than the math and English subjects they are required to take. Children are also at risk of learning more about drugs and alcohol than parents may realize and with increased pressures during the adolescent years, alcohol may be an attractive fix.

A recent Science Daily release focused on a study conducted by researchers at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry. This study has determined that over the last 10 years, there has been a two-fold increase in both alcohol consumption and intoxication by adolescents aged 12 to 17.

In an evaluation of 2,506 adolescents with a mean age of 13.7 years, the research team used the Substance Use Risk Profile scale to assess personality risk for substance abuse along four different dimensions, which include sensation seeking, hopelessness, impulsivity and anxiety-sensitivity.

Researchers identified 1,159 students as high risk for substance abuse and 624 received intervention as part of the Adventure Trial. A matched high risk group received no intervention. Two 90 minute group sessions were part of a school-based intervention and were conducted by a trained educational professional.

Through their evaluation of this trial, researchers determined that an intervention significantly decreased the likelihood of reporting alcohol consumption at follow-up. In fact, the control group was 1.7 times more likely to report alcohol use than the intervention group. Receiving an intervention decreased binge-drinking risks in this group.