Mental health approach to teenage alcohol prevention is successful, finds new study
Nick Barton, Chief Executive of Action on Addiction says: “Dr Conrod’s study which helps young people reduce their chances of developing an addiction to alcohol and/or drugs in the future is an exciting development for prevention work in the UK. This is generally recognised as inadequate, and as we see regularly in the media, currently fails to address binge drinking and drug taking among young people. We treat a large number of people who began misusing substances in their school years, and we welcome any evidence-based research which may help to reverse this trend.”
If you have a teenager, be alert to signs and symptoms that may indicate a problem with alcohol:
Loss of interest in activities and hobbies and in personal appearance
Bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, problems with coordination and memory lapses
Difficulties or changes in relationships with friends, such as joining a new crowd
Declining grades and problems in school
Frequent mood changes and defensive behavior
You can help prevent teenage alcohol use. Start by setting a good example with your own alcohol use. Talk openly with your child, spend quality time together, and become actively involved in your child’s life. Let your child know what behavior you expect - and what the consequences will be if he or she doesn’t follow the rules.
Notes to editors:
Encourage Healthy Alternatives to Alcohol
One reason kids drink is to beat boredom. So it makes sense to encourage your child to participate in supervised after-school and weekend activities that are challenging and fun. According to a recent survey of preteens, the availability of enjoyable, alcohol-free activities is a big reason for deciding not to use alcohol.
If your community doesn’t offer many supervised activities, consider getting together with other parents and teens to help create some. Start by asking your child and other kids what they want to do, because they will be most likely to participate in activities that truly interest them. Find out whether your church, school, or community organization can help you sponsor a project.
Paper reference: Conrod, P. et al. “A cluster randomized trial evaluating a selective, personality-targeted prevention program for adolescent alcohol misuse: Primary two-year outcomes and possible secondary herd effects” JAMA Psychiatry
About King’s College London:
King’s College London is one of the top 30 universities in the world (2012/13 QS international world rankings), and was The Sunday Times ‘University of the Year 2010/11’, and the fourth oldest in England. A research-led university based in the heart of London, King’s has more than 24,000 students (of whom more than 10,000 are graduate students) from nearly 140 countries, and more than 6,100 employees. King’s is in the second phase of a ?1 billion redevelopment programme which is transforming its estate.
King’s has an outstanding reputation for providing world-class teaching and cutting-edge research. In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise for British universities, 23 departments were ranked in the top quartile of British universities; over half of our academic staff work in departments that are in the top 10 per cent in the UK in their field and can thus be classed as world leading. The College is in the top seven UK universities for research earnings and has an overall annual income of nearly ?525 million (year ending 31 July 2011).
King’s has a particularly distinguished reputation in the humanities, law, the sciences (including a wide range of health areas such as psychiatry, medicine, nursing and dentistry) and social sciences including international affairs. It has played a major role in many of the advances that have shaped modern life, such as the discovery of the structure of DNA and research that led to the development of radio, television, mobile phones and radar.
King’s College London and Guy’s and St Thomas’, King’s College Hospital and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trusts are part of King’s Health Partners. King’s Health Partners Academic Health Sciences Centre (AHSC) is a pioneering global collaboration between one of the world’s leading research-led universities and three of London’s most successful NHS Foundation Trusts, including leading teaching hospitals and comprehensive mental health services.
The College is in the midst of a five-year, ?500 million fundraising campaign – World questions|King’s answers – created to address some of the most pressing challenges facing humanity as quickly as feasible. The campaign’s five priority areas are neuroscience and mental health, leadership and society, cancer, global power and children’s health.
About Action on Addiction:
Action on Addiction is the only UK charity working across the addiction field in research, prevention, treatment and rehabilitation, professional workforce development, professional education and support for families and children.
One in three people suffer from an addiction. It breaks up families, damages communities and destroys lives. In some way it touches us all. Action on Addition believes that it is important to take an integrated and dynamic approach to improving the understanding of addiction and people’s responses to it.
Action on Addiction has treatment centres throughout England as well as a specialist family support service (Families Plus) and an expert training centre for the treatment of addiction. They fund important and innovative research into addiction, working closely with the National Addiction Centre (part of the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London) and the Mental Health Research and Development Unit at the University of Bath.
Action on Addiction has been helping people with addiction problems for over 25 years. In January 2012 HRH The Duchess of Cambridge became patron of Action on Addiction.
King’s College London