Interventions for other disorders may help prevent problematic substance use

July 26, 2021

It is sometimes possible to prevent substance use by addressing other social and emotional concerns facing children and young people. For example, a program called Fast Track — aimed at preventing conduct problems — also reduced problematic substance use in general and alcohol misuse in particular. Similarly, the Montreal Prevention Program aimed to reduce behaviour problems with disadvantaged seven-year-old boys also reduced the number of drugs the boys tried when they were between 14 and 17 years old. As well, a cognitive-behavioural therapy program designed to prevent adolescent depression also significantly reduced substance use two years after the program ended. For more information, see Vol. 13, No. 4 of the Children’s Mental Health Research Quarterly.