The World Health Organisation have just published the findings from the Health Behaviour in School Aged Children survey, which focuses on the social determinants of health and well-being among young people, including their drug and alcohol use.
The survey has comparable data from young people in England, Wales and Scotland as well as from across Europe.
As you’ll see there are a number of policy reflections that the authors have which are useful collateral for us.
The report says:
School-based intervention programmes focusing specifically on alcohol use and targeting adolescents and their parents have considerable effects. Generic, psychosocial and developmental, school-based prevention programmes focusing on life skills and a healthy lifestyle in general are also effective and could be considered as policy and practice options.
They also report that family interventions are effective in delaying the onset of drinking and reducing the frequency of drinking.
As with alcohol the report is clear that school based prevention programmes can be effective:
Interventions in schools that focus on increasing drug knowledge, decision-making skills, self-esteem and resistance to peer pressure effectively reduce cannabis use.
They also say that Motivational Interviewing has been effective in working with young people who have started to use cannabis.