Health Promot J Austr. 2021 Jun 26. doi: 10.1002/hpja.516. Online ahead of print.
ISSUE: Reducing substance use harm in young people is a major public health priority however health promotion messages often struggle to achieve meaningful engagement. Neuroscience-based teachings may provide an innovative new way to engage young people in credible harm minimisation health promotion. This study aims to evaluate the acceptability and credibility of a series of neuroscience-based drug education animations and investigate neuroscience literacy in young people.
METHODS: Three animations were developed around the impact of alcohol, MDMA and cannabis use on the growing brain, labelled the ‘Respect Your Brain’ video series. Sixty young people (mean age 21.9 years; 48% female) viewed the animations and completed a 20-minute web-based, self-report survey to provide feedback on the animations and a 19-item neuroscience literacy survey, assessing knowledge and attitudes towards the brain.
RESULTS: The Alcohol, Cannabis and MDMA videos were rated as good or very good by the majority of participants (82%, 89% and 85% respectively) and all participants wanted to see more ‘Respect your Brain’ videos. On average the Alcohol, Cannabis and MDMA videos were rated as containing the right level of detail and being interesting, relevant and engaging by the majority of participants (80%, 81% and 83% respectively). Participants scored an average of 74% in the neuroscience literacy questionnaire, demonstrating some knowledge of brain functioning and positive attitudes towards the brain.
CONCLUSION: This study provides evidence that age-appropriate, neuroscience-based resources on alcohol, Cannabis and MDMA are engaging and relevant to young people and offer a potential new avenue to reduce alcohol and other drug related harm and promote healthy lifestyle choices in young people.
Source: ncbi 2