menu ☰
menu ˟

Primary prevention for alcohol misuse in young people


Foxcroft, D. Ireland, D., Lowe, G. and Breen, R.

Subject Keywords: Review of educational and psychosocial prevention programmes for the reduction of alcohol misuse in young people
Topic: Chronic Conditions
Type: Article
Region: International (other)

Alcohol misuse is a cause of concern for health services, policy makers, prevention workers, the criminal justice system, youth workers, teachers and parents. Objectives 1. To identify and summarize rigorous evaluations of psychosocial and educational interventions aimed at the primary prevention of alcohol misuse by young people. 2. To assess the effectiveness of primary prevention interventions over the longer-term (> 3 years). Selection criteria 1. randomised controlled and non-randomised controlled and interrupted time series designs. 2. educational and psychosocial primary prevention interventions for young people up to 25 years old. 3. alcohol-specific or generic (drugs; lifestyle) interventions providing alcohol outcomes reported. 4. alcohol outcomes: alcohol use, age of alcohol initiation, drinking 5+ drinks on any one occasion, drunkeness, alcohol related violence, alcohol related crime, alcohol related risky behaviour. 20 of the 56 studies included showed evidence of ineffectiveness. No firm conclusions about the effectiveness of prevention interventions in the short- and medium-term were possible. Over the longer-term, the Strengthening Families Program (SFP) showed promise as an effective prevention intervention. The Number Needed to Treat (NNT) for the SFP over 4 years for three alcohol initiation behaviours (alcohol use, alcohol use without permission and first drunkeness) was 9 (for all three behaviours). One study also highlighted the potential value of culturally focused skills training over the longer-term (NNT=17 over three-and-a-half years for 4+ drinks in the last week).



Rights: © The Cochrane Collaboration
Suggested citation:

Foxcroft, D. Ireland, D., Lowe, G. and Breen, R.. (2002) Primary prevention for alcohol misuse in young people [Online]. Available from: [Accessed: 21st September 2019].


View your saved citations and reading lists


Other partner websites
Click here to view all the resources gathered from this organisation's website.