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Substance Use Prevention Programming for Adolescents and Young Adults: A Mixed-Method Examination of Substance Use Perceptions and Use of Prevention Services.

Subst Use Misuse. 2020 Sep 16;:1-7

Authors: Moreland AD, Lopez CM, Gilmore AK, Borkman AL, McCauley JL, Rheingold AA, Danielson CK

BACKGROUND: Although substance use problems are highly prevalent among adolescents and emerging adults, this population does not regularly receive substance use prevention programming in their communities. Low perceived risk of substance use, which is linked to actual behavior, may contribute to low rates of engagement in community prevention efforts for substance use. To examine this, the current study used a mixed methods approach to: (1) examine the relationship between engagement in prevention education and substance use; and, (2) analyze qualitative data on education programs offered in the community to help identify strengths and gaps in prevention resources. Method: Quantitative and qualitative data were collected from adolescents (age 13-18) and young adults (age 19-25) living in the Southeast, recruited from local schools and community events to participate in a preventive intervention focused on prevention of HIV, substance use, and other risky behaviors. Prior to engagement in this intervention, self-report questionnaires were completed by adolescents assessing: substance use, perceived risk, and engagement in substance use education classes. Focus groups were also conducted with adolescents recruited from a local high school and young adults recruited from local colleges to obtain additional information about engagement in education programs. Results: Regarding perceived risk, 71.8% of adolescents reported moderate to great risk in having five or more drinks once or twice a week and 43% of adolescents reported moderate to great risk in smoking cannabis once or twice a week. Forty-four percent of adolescents had talked to one of their parents about the dangers of tobacco, alcohol, or drug use in the past year. Further, 18% of adolescents had been to a class or program on prevention of alcohol and other drug abuse in the past month and 50.7% had heard, read, or watched an advertisement about prevention of substance use in the past year. Qualitative results Eight overarching themes, each with its own sub-themes, emerged from the participant’s responses during the focus groups. Each is described below with representative quotes provided throughout for illustrative purposes. Conclusions: Findings revealed several gaps in resources identified by adolescents and young adults that are needed to adequately address substance use, which provide important next steps for substance use prevention among youth.

PMID: 32938267 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Source: ncbi 2

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Categories: Medical

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