Middle-School Methamphetamine Prevention Called
JoinTogether.com September 7, 2006
students in rural areas who attended prevention
programs aimed at methamphetamine use were less
likely to use the drug when they got older,
according to research from the
National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
outcomes from a group of Iowa families who
attended one of two prevention programs when the
children were in 6th grade, comparing their
later methamphetamine use to a control group
whose members did not attend the prevention
sessions. A follow-up study was conducted when
the students reached the 12th grade.
The NIDA report also
drew conclusions from a second study involving
7th-graders, who also attended prevention
programs and whose drug use was examined in
either 11th or 12th grade.
In the first study,
none of the students who attended the Iowa
Strengthening Families Project as 6th graders
had tried meth by the time the were seniors in
high school, compared to 3.2 percent of the
control group and 3.6 percent of the students
who attended the Preparing for the Drug-Free
Years program. In the second study, both
interventions effectively reduced past-year and
lifetime use of methamphetamine compared to the
NIDA said that this
was the first study to examine the effects of
prevention on methamphetamine use among youth.
"We now have
evidence that prevention programs can be
important tools to protect adolescents from the
devastating effects of methamphetamine use, and
we will continue to explore the effectiveness of
other drug-abuse prevention programs," said
Elias A. Zerhouni, director of the National
Institutes of Health.
The research was led
by Richard Spoth of Iowa State University and
published in the September 2006 issue of the
Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine.
Spoth, R. et. al. (2006) Long-term Effects of
Universal Preventive Interventions on
Methamphetamine Use Among Adolescents. Arch
Pediatr Adolesc Med., 160: 876-882.