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22

Concurrent use of substances among adolescents in the United States who participated in a family programme 1.4

0.2

0

0 13/14 (grade 6)

Approximate age

19/20 (grade 12)

0.2

18/19 (grade 10)

0.4

Girls

17/18 (grade 9)

0.6

0.4

19/20 (grade 12)

0.6

18/19 (grade 10)

0.8

17/18 (grade 9)

0.8

15/16 (grade 8)

1.2 1

14/15 (grade 7)

1

15/16 (grade 8)

Boys

1.2

14/15 (grade 7)

1.4

13/14 (grade 6)

Past month polysubstance use indicator

FIG. 18.

Approximate age

Family intervenƟon at age 13/14

Control

Source: Trudeau and others “Longitudinal effects of a universal family-focused intervention” (2007).

during pregnancy.108 Similarly, prenatal and infancy visits during which a trained nurse or social worker supports parents in need of help with health, housing, employment or legal issues, in addition to parenting challenges, have proved to be effective in improving the child’s behaviour when it reaches adolescence.109 Training programmes focused on parenting skills are a powerful tool, not only for populations at risk but also in the general population. In these programmes all parents are encouraged to raise their children in a warm and responsive manner and to become involved in their children’s lives and learn how to communicate effectively with their children and enforce rules and limits. Drug-specific content in these programmes pertains to the parents’ own substance use and, depending on the child in question’s developmental stage, the expectations the parents have about the child’s substance use and how to communicate about drug issues. Such interventions achieve positive preventive outcomes in the short and long run with regard to drug use and other problem behaviour.110,111 108 A. Niccols and others, “Integrated programs for mothers with substance abuse issues and their children: a systematic review of studies reporting on child outcomes”, Journal of Child Abuse and Neglect, vol. 36, No. 4 (2012), pp. 308-322. 109 Richard L. Spoth, Mark Greenberg and Robert Turrisi, “Preventive interventions addressing underage drinking: state of the evidence and steps toward public health impact”, Pediatrics, vol. 121, Suppl. No. 4 (2008), pp. S311-S336. 110 Jane Petrie, Frances Bunn and Geraldine Byrne, “Parenting programmes for preventing tobacco, alcohol or drugs misuse in children <18: a systematic review”, Health Education Research, vol. 22, No. 2 (2007), pp. 177-191. 111 E. Smit and others, “Family interventions and their effect on adolescent alcohol use in general populations: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials”, Drug and Alcohol Dependence, vol. 97, No. 3 (2008), pp. 195-206.

Family programmes go one step further, by adding a child and family component to the parenting training. While parents are working on parenting skills, their children or adolescents learn how to improve their social and resistance skills, coping strategies, problem solving and decision-making. Specific to drugs, perceptions of the risks associated with use of drugs and social norms and attitudes towards drugs are discussed. Unique to this type of intervention is a subsequent family session, during which families are asked to communicate about controversial issues or resolve typical conflicts while organizing family leisure time. Family bonding activities are also part of the session. These programmes are expected to significantly lower the chance of initiating alcohol use (by roughly 30 per cent) and to reduce the frequency of alcohol use among participating adolescents.112 Rare long-term studies reveal that four years after the start of an intervention, participants had a 25 per cent less chance of alcohol use than if they had not participated in the family programme. With regard to other drugs, one programme produced an effect on the methamphetamine use of students in the twelfth grade.113 Although intervention effects are valid for girls and boys, as figure 18 indicates, the benefits appear to be even longer lasting for girls.114

112 Ibid. 113 R. L. Spoth and others, “Long-term effects of universal preventive interventions on methamphetamine use among adolescents”, Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, vol. 160, No. 9 (2006), pp. 876-882. 114 L. Trudeau and others, “Longitudinal effects of a universal familyfocused intervention on growth patterns of adolescent internalizing symptoms and polysubstance use: gender comparisons”, Journal of Youth Adolescence, vol. 36, No. 6 (2007), pp. 725-740.

World Drug Report 2015  

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Bones Private Collection

World Drug Report 2015  

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Bones Private Collection

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