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Prevention efforts focused on youth reduce prescription abuse into adulthood
Date:2/14/2013

ntervention) or to a family-focused intervention alone or in combination with a school-based intervention:

  • Study 1, begun in 1993, tested a family-focused intervention alone (22 schools).
  • Study 2, begun in 1997, tested a combined family-focused intervention and a school-based life skills training program (24 schools).
  • Study 3, begun in 2002, tested a delivery system for a family-focused intervention and one of three school-based interventions selected from a menu (28 schools).

All of these interventions addressed general risk and protective factors for substance abuse rather than specifically targeting prescription drug abuse. In follow-up questionnaires and telephone interviews completed at 17-25 years of age, students across the three studies showed reductions in risk -- ranging from about 20 percent to as much as 65 percent -- for prescription drug and opioid abuse, compared to students in the control groups. Importantly, the interventions used had previously been shown to reduce the likelihood of other substance use or other problem behaviors.

"We could find no other randomized, controlled studies where brief community-based preventive interventions conducted during middle school were associated with long-term reductions in prescription drug abuse -- six to 14 years after initial program implementation," said Dr. Richard Spoth, from the Partnerships in Prevention Science Institute at Iowa State University and first author on the study. "The intervention effects were comparable or even stronger for participants who had started misusing substances prior to the middle school interventions, suggesting that these programs also can be successful in higher-risk groups."


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Contact: NIDA Press Team
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301-443-6245
NIH/National Institute on Drug Abuse
Source:Eurekalert

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