Curbing teen drinking difficult in urban areas

March 18th, 2008 - 4:32 pm ICT by admin  

New York, March 18 (IANS) Keeping teenagers away from alcohol is a tough task in a city when compared to rural areas, even for experts armed with the best prevention programmes, says a new study. The study, which looked at the results of a three-year, three-pronged prevention programme, found that it did little to keep city middle school children from drinking or using drugs.

Researchers studied 5,812 sixth, seventh and eighth-graders in low-income communities of Chicago, randomly dividing the neighbourhoods into two groups: those who would participate in the prevention programme and those who would not.

“The intervention found to be effective in rural areas was not effective here, which really surprised us,” said Kelli A. Komro of the University of Florida and the study’s co-author.

“The bottom line is this: Low-income children in urban areas need more, long-term intensive efforts,” he said.

Findings of the study were recently reported in the online edition of the journal, Addiction.

Of the adolescents who drink by 15, only half is more likely to struggle in school, abuse alcohol later in life, smoke cigarettes and use other drugs than those who don’t. “Almost any problem kids might have, alcohol increases the risk,” Komro said.

In participating schools, an alcohol prevention curriculum was used in the classroom. Students led these sessions because the prevention messages are more accepted when they come from peers rather than teachers, Komro said.

But at the end of the study, surveys showed no difference in alcohol use among the teens who took part in the project and those who did not.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in World |