Mental and substance use disorders can have a powerful effect on the health of individuals, their families, and their communities. Inan estimated 9. Inan estimated
See commentary " DNA vaccines: This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. The abuse of alcohol and illicit and prescription drugs continues to be a major health problem internationally.
It is estimated that alcohol abuse results in 2. In addition to causing death, substance abuse is also responsible for significant morbidity and the treatment of drug addiction creates a tremendous burden on society.
Existing studies have found a high correlation between adolescent abuse and becoming a problem drug user in adulthood 2 ; therefore, it can be inferred that many problem drug users start abusing drugs at an early age.
Additionally, accidental and intentional Drug and alcohol use among adolescents that are associated with drug and alcohol use represent one of the leading preventable causes of death for the 15 to year-old population. Alcohol and other drug use in the adolescent population carries a high risk for school underachievement, delinquency, teenage pregnancy, and depression 2.
Preventative science postulates that negative health outcomes, including those resulting from substance abuse, can be prevented by reducing risk factors and enhancing protective factors 3. The general framework used in this article is based on research presented by the National Institute of Drug Abuse NIDA and emphasizes the strategy of targeting modifiable risk factors and enhancing protective factors through family, school and community prevention programmes.
Identify risk factors Prevention of substance abuse among adolescents requires awareness of characteristics that place youth at risk and targeting risk factors that are modifiable.
Many studies have attempted to identify risk factors associated with adolescent drug and alcohol usage. A retrospective study by Dube et al 5 measured correlations between the number of adverse childhood experiences ACEs and future substance abuse behaviour.
Adverse childhood events included abuse physical, emotional or sexualneglect physical or emotional ; growing up with household substance abuse, criminality of household members, mental illness among household members, and parental discord and illicit drug use. The study specifically compared the number of ACEs resulting in a greater likelihood of drug use initiation under 14 yr of age and also compared the number of ACEs associated with increased risk of developing addiction.
The study demonstrated that each additional ACE increased the likelihood for drug use under 14 yr of age by two to fourfold and raised the risk of later addiction by five times. People with five or more ACEs were seven to ten times more likely to report illicit drug use than those with none 5.
Hawkins et al 3 also reviewed many studies that attempted to identify risk factors for adolescent drug abuse. Of the societal risk factors, the following were identified: Interestingly, socio-economic status did not seem to correlate with increased risk of drug abuse among adolescents; it was only in cases of extreme poverty in conjunction with childhood behavioural problems where increased risk was observed.
Being aware of these risk factors can assist families, health professionals, schools and other community workers with identifying at risk youth and aid in reducing or eliminating risk factors through prevention and treatment programmes.
Prevention programmes Botvin et al 6 cited several key factors required in prevention programmes to make them effective. These factors include a need to address multiple risk and protective factors, provide developmentally appropriate information relative to the target age group, include material to help young people recognize and resist pressures to engage in drug use, include comprehensive personal and social skills training to build resistance, deliver information through interactive methods and cultural sensitivity that includes relevant language and audiovisual content familiar to the target audience 6.
Successful prevention programmes should incorporate all of these characteristics and can then be provided through the family, school, community or healthcare community. The NIDA Report 4 emphasizes both the role of family and community prevention programmes as vital to deterring child and adolescent substance abuse.
Their findings are summarized below: The NIDA Report emphasizes strengthening protective factors through the family, including increasing family bonding and using appropriate discipline.
The following family characteristics place children at a higher risk for substance abuse: Once these risk factors are identified, families may benefit from formal prevention programmes that can focus on enhancing family bonding, parenting skills including communication, rule-setting, appropriate disciplinary actions and changing parental behaviours that may place a child at risk for later abuse 4.
This is a comprehensive family-based outpatient or partial hospitalization day treatment programme for substance-abusing adolescents and those at high risk for continued substance abuse and other problem behaviours. MDFT focuses on helping youth develop more effective coping and problem-solving skills for better decision-making and helps the family improve interpersonal functioning as a protective factor against substance abuse and related problems.
Liddle et al 7 compared multi-dimensional family therapy with individual cognitive behavioural therapy CBT and found that although both treatments were promising, MDFT was more efficacious in treating substance use problem severity, in addition to creating more long lasting effects than standard CBT.
Community and school prevention programmes: In addition to family programmes, NIDA emphasizes school and community programmes as being beneficial in substance abuse prevention.
One of the many examples of school prevention programmes cited in the NIDA Report 4 is Reconnecting Youth RY ; a school-based prevention programme for high school students with poor school achievement and a potential for not completing their education. Participants may also show signs of multiple problem behaviours, such as substance abuse, depression, aggression, or suicidal behaviours.
Students are screened for eligibility and then invited to participate in the programme. The programme goals are to increase school performance, reduce drug use, and learn skills to manage mood and emotions.
RY blends small group work students per class to foster positive peer bonding, with social skills training in a daily, semester-long class. Role of healthcare providers in prevention: It is believed that less than 30 per cent of primary care providers perform any screening for substance abuse and as many as 69 per cent do not offer any type of counselling Hallfors et al 11 cited the following barriers affecting the screening and prevention services in primary care:Nov 13, · This definition includes the nonmedical use of prescription drugs and also includes adolescents who meet the diagnostic criteria.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Office of Applied Studies. News Release. Wednesday, December 16, Drug use trends remain stable or decline among teens. NIH’s Monitoring the Future survey shows long term decline in illicit drug use, prescription opioid abuse, cigarette and alcohol use among the nation’s youth.
Adolescents' drug use and treatment needs differ from those of adults. Adolescents in treatment report abusing different substances than adult patients do. For example, many more people aged 12–17 received treatment for marijuana use than for alcohol use in Alcohol Use Among Adolescents and Young Adults Michael Windle, Ph.D.
Michael Windle, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology and director of the Center for the Advancement of Youth Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham. In , 10 percent of youth aged 12 to 17 were current illicit drug users.
See Figure 1 for a breakdown by drug type. In , rates of current alcohol use were percent among persons aged 12 or 13, 13 percent of persons aged 14 or 15, and 26 percent for 16 or 17 year olds. 11 Facts About Teens And Drug Use.
Adderall use (often prescribed to treat ADHD) has increased among high school seniors from % in to % this year. By the 8th grade, 28% of adolescents have consumed alcohol, 15% have smoked cigarettes, and % have used marijuana.