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Front. Psychiatry | doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00770

A Review of Personality-targeted Interventions for Prevention of Substance Misuse and Related Harm in Community Samples of Adolescents

 Hanie Edalati1* and Patricia J. Conrod1*
  • 1CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center, Université de Montréal, Canada

Several school-based prevention programmes have been developed and used to prevent, delay, or reduce substance misuse and related problems among community samples of adolescents. However, findings indicate that many of these interventions are associated with null, small, or mixed effects in reducing adolescent substance misuse, in particular for those mostly at risk of transitioning to substance use disorders. These findings highlight the need to shift the focus of substance use prevention efforts toward intervention strategies which directly target high-risk adolescents. The Preventure programme was designed to target four personality risk factors for substance misuse: hopelessness, anxiety sensitivity, impulsivity, and sensation seeking. This article reviews findings from the previous trials of personality-targeted interventions (i.e., Preventure programme) with adolescents and discuss the promises and benefits of these interventions for targeting community samples of high-risk adolescents at school level for reducing substance misuse and related mental health problems. Findings indicated that this programme has been successful in reducing the rates of alcohol and illicit drug use and substance-related harms by approximately 50% in high-risk adolescents with the effects last for up to three years. These interventions were also associated with a 25% reduction in likelihood of transitioning to mental health problems, such as anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, and conduct problems. The programme is particularly beneficial for youth with more significant risk profiles, such as youth reporting clinically significant levels of externalizing problems, and victimised adolescents. A key strength of the Preventure programme is that it is embedded in the community and provides substance use intervention at school level to the general samples of high-risk adolescents who might not otherwise have access to those programmes.

Keywords: School-based Substance Use Prevention Programme, Community-based Targeted Prevention, cluster randomised trial, Substance Use Outcomes, Mental Health, High-risk Adolescents

Received: 09 Sep 2018; Accepted: 21 Dec 2018.

Edited by:

Marie-Josée Fleury, McGill University, Canada

Reviewed by:

Leandro D. Valiengo, University of São Paulo, Brazil
Sebastian Sattler, Universität zu Köln, Germany  

Copyright: © 2018 Edalati and Conrod. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence:
Dr. Hanie Edalati, CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center, Université de Montréal, Montréal, H3T 1C5, Quebec, Canada,
Prof. Patricia J. Conrod, CHU Sainte-Justine Research Center, Université de Montréal, Montréal, H3T 1C5, Quebec, Canada,