Home > Universal school-based prevention for illicit drug use.

Faggiano, Fabrizio and Minozzi, Silvia and Versino, Elisabetta and Buscemi, Daria [The Cochrane Library] . (2014) Universal school-based prevention for illicit drug use. London: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (12) Art. No.: CD003020. DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD003020.pub3.

URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/1465185...


Review question

We reviewed the evidence about the effect of school-based prevention interventions on reducing the use and intention to use drugsand increasing knowledge about the harms of drugs in primary or secondary school pupils.

Study characteristics

We found a total of 51 studies (73 reports) with 127,146 participants involved. Twenty-seven studies compared 28 programmes adopting a social competence approach versus usual curricula, eight studies compared a social influence approach versus usual curricula, seven studies compared a combined approach versus usual curricula, two studies compared a programme based on knowledge only versus usual curricula, four studies compared other approaches versus usual curricula, seven studies assessed 11 different comparisons. They were mainly delivered in sixth and seven grade pupils (12 to 13 years). Most of the trials were conducted in the USA. The interventions were mainly interactive and five of them lasted one school year, 18 more than one school year and 29 less than one school year. In all other cases the duration was not clearly specified. Follow-up ranged from immediately after the end of the intervention up to 10 years.  

Key results

Programmes based on social competence were mostly represented and showed a similar tendency to reduce the use of substances and the intention to use, and to improve knowledge about drugs, compared to usual curricula, but the effects were seldom statistically significant. Programmes based on social influence showed weak effects that were rarely significant. Programmes based on a combination of social competence and social influence approaches seemed to have better results than the other categories, with effective results in preventing marijuana use at longer follow-up, and in preventing any drug use. Knowledge-based interventions showed no differences in outcomes, apart from knowledge, which was improved among participants involved in the programme.  

Item Type:Evidence resource
Publication Type:Review
Drug Type:Alcohol or other drugs in general, Cannabis, CNS depressants, CNS stimulants, Cocaine, Inhalents and solvents, Opioid, New psychoactive substance
Intervention Type:AOD prevention
Source:The Cochrane Library
Date:December 2014
Publisher:John Wiley & Sons, Ltd
Place of Publication:London
Number:12
EndNote:View
Accession Number:HRB (Electronic Only)
Subjects:J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Prevention outcome
J Health care, prevention and rehabilitation > Prevention by sponsor or setting > School based prevention
L Social psychology and related concepts > Social context > School context
N Communication, information and education > Educational environment (school / college) > Substance use in the educational environment > School substance use policy
T Demographic characteristics > Student (secondary level)

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