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Youth intervention may cut down on later prescription drug abuse

In light of the continual rise of prescription drug abuse – particularly among teens and young adults – communities across the country have been making a concentrated effort to promote drug abuse education and implement other prevention methods that target the nation’s youth. And, according to a press release from the National Institutes of Health, these efforts may be paying off.

Based on research that was published in the American Journal of Public Health this month, adolescents who participate in a comprehensive drug abuse prevention program may be less likely to misuse prescription medication as adults. This conclusion was made after researchers conducted three separate studies in 1993, 1997 and 2002 that involved rural and small town adolescents in 6th and 7th grade. Participants were selected regardless of whether they were considered “high risk” for future drug abuse, the source notes.  

“[Participants] were randomly assigned to a control condition (receiving no prevention intervention) or to a family-focused intervention alone or in combination with a school-based intervention,” according to the press release.

The students recruited for the study all completed three-month prevention programs, and were then required to complete a questionnaire on their drug habits years later. The responses revealed that those who took part in these programs were anywhere between 20 and 65 percent less likely to abuse drugs – including prescription pills and opiates – in the years following their program.

Has your child developed an addiction to prescription pills? Though you may initially feel powerless, you don’t have to stand idly. With the guidance of a professional interventionist, you can help your child take a step toward recovery with a drug abuse intervention.

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