Google Play icon

Breaking teens free from substance abuse

Posted June 25, 2015

Almost half of grade eight students in Québec have consumed alcohol—an alarming statistic considering that alcohol and drug abuse at a young age can affect the brain, push teenagers to drop out of school, trigger mental illness and lead to long-term addiction. But science has a solution: cognitive and behavioural therapy workshops for at-risk teenagers.

Image credit: FRQS

Image credit: FRQS

As part of the Co-venture Project, which thus far has been tested in England and Canada, Patricia Conrod, psychiatry professor at Université de Montréal and researcher at the CHU Sainte-Justine Research Centre, has found that certain personality and behavioural traits such as anxiety and impulsiveness can drive teenagers to abuse harmful substances. By learning to better manage their psychological profiles without drugs or alcohol, students experience a 30% decrease in their symptoms of depression and anxiety, a 40% improvement in their behavioural issues and a 50% decline in their binge drinking.

For the past four years, Patricia Conrod has investigated the approach in 32 Montréal-area high schools, where she recruited some 4,000 12-year-olds based on their risk behaviours, consumption habits and mental health. The students take part in psychosocial therapy sessions with trained school counsellors, who teach them how to handle their emotions and risk behaviours.

Conrod hopes to change the adolescents’ temperaments and curb their drug and alcohol consumption by 50% by the time they finish their schooling. In the long term, she aims to develop an intervention model that will be offered in all schools to ensure students’ cognitive development and prevent long-term substance abuse.

Source: University of Montreal

Featured news from related categories:

Technology Org App
Google Play icon
83,394 science & technology articles

Most Popular Articles

  1. Bright Fireball Explodes Over Ontario, Meteorite Fragments Might Have Reached the Ground (August 5, 2019)
  2. Why older people smell the way they do? Japanese have even a special word for it (August 4, 2019)
  3. Terraforming the Surface of Mars with Silica Aerogel? (July 23, 2019)
  4. Moisturizers May Be Turning Your Skin Into ‘Swiss Cheese’ (4 days old)
  5. Swarm Autonomy Tested in Second Major DARPA OFFSET Field Experiment (August 8, 2019)

Follow us

Facebook   Twitter   Pinterest   Tumblr   RSS   Newsletter via Email