Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Early prevention programs important

I receive "Research into Action" email messages from CADCA's (Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America) National Coalition Institute on a regular basis. The latest one is entitled, "Early Intervention Can Reduce Marijuana Use Initiation Among Youth". It says:

Parents have the greatest affect on a young person's decision to use marijuana during early adolescence. After age 15, youth tend to base the decision more on peer influence.This research, published in Substance Use & Misuse indicates that parents must reach young people before age 13 to increase the likelihood that the youth will choose against initiating marijuana use.

It goes on to suggest the following ways to prevent youth marijuana use:
  • Implement parenting programs and education earlier -- while parents have a child in pre to early adolescence.
  • Target prevention efforts at reducing the initiation of alcohol and cigarette use among adolescents of all ages.
  • Work with schools and families and other community members more closely on fostering environments where young people are less likely to be offered marijuana by peers and others.
Other Research into Action messages include:

Children's Knowledge/Opinions May Predict Youth Alcohol/Tobacco Use -- a particularly good one for our community since one of our main risk factors is "intention to use" alcohol;

Promoting Youth-Adult Partnerships in Coalition Decisionmaking;

A Community Systems Approach -- Greater and More Sustainable Impact through Policy;

Going Beyond Program Implementation -- Issues to Consider When Institutionalizing an Evidence-Based Prevention Program.

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