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Intervening early to reduce developmentally harmful substance use among youth populations.

journal contribution
posted on 2007-10-01, 00:00 authored by D I Lubman, L Hides, M Yücel, John ToumbourouJohn Toumbourou
Early-onset or frequent substance use during adolescence increases the risk of developing mental health problems, as well as a range of other adverse outcomes (eg, alcohol or drug dependence, educational underachievement, health problems, social difficulties) during late adolescence and early adulthood. Increases in rates of risky drinking among young people are particularly concerning, suggesting that an effective, evidence-based alcohol policy and preventive framework needs to be developed. Restricting the supply of licit and illicit substances to adolescents, delaying the age that licit substances can be legally purchased, reducing positive media portrayals of substance use, and banning targeted promotions, should be universal, public prevention priorities. Mass-media campaigns need to deliver coherent and credible evidence-based messages to young people, utilising a broad array of dissemination strategies. Clear policy and guidelines for parents regarding appropriate alcohol use for adolescents also need to be developed. Prevention programs should target children and adolescents in families with parents who use drugs, young people who have been suspended from school, or those with mental health problems. Preventive screening and targeted brief interventions can be effectively delivered in a variety of settings by a range of health professionals.

History

Journal

The Medical journal of Australia

Volume

187

Issue

7 Suppl

Publisher

Australasian Medical Publishing Company Ltd

ISSN

0025-729X

Copyright notice

2007, Australasian Medical Publishing Company Ltd

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