Recommended program

Preventure

  • Preventure
Targeted Drugs:
Gold

This resource is supported by multiple published studies.

Year:
Year 7–8, Year 9–10
Time Allocated

1-6 lessons

Origin

International

Cost

Costs Involved

Content Especially Suited For

High-risk students

Available

Register your interest in future Preventure training

Register your interest in Preventure

Developers

Format

The program is administered by a trained facilitator and co-facilitator within classrooms. Facilitators can be teachers or mental health practitioners (e.g., clinical psychologists). Training and 4 hours of supervised practice is required to run the program.

 The program involves: 
  • A short questionnaire to identify students scoring above average on certain personality traits.
  • 2 × 90-minute group sessions with 4-8 selected students.
  • Student and teacher manuals are provided.

Summary

Preventure is a school-based intervention aimed at reducing drug and alcohol use and improving emotional well-being. Students with certain personality profiles as identified by a screening questionnaire are invited to participate in two 90-minute group workshops. The workshops focus on motivating teenagers to understand how their personality style leads to certain emotional and behavioural reactions. Four different workshops are run, each focused on developing specialised coping skills relevant to following personality styles:

  • Sensation seeking
  • Impulsivity
  • Anxiety sensitivity
  • Negative thinking

Brief, coping skills interventions targeting personality risk factors have been tested in randomised controlled trials, showing benefits that last for up to two years. The Preventure program has proven both feasible and effective when delivered by trained school-staff. The Preventure materials were developed in Canada but are culturally adaptable and have been adapted for implementation in Australia.  

Watch the Preventure introductory video

Training & Costs

In order to implement the Preventure program, it is necessary to attend a 2-3 day training workshop. These training workshops are run in Montreal, Canada, but alternate arrangements may be possible. See the program website for information about the training workshops and costs for the program materials.  

Facilitator training workshops are currently being offered in Australia. The next workshops will be held in 2021. At the top of this page you can register your interest to be informed about upcoming facilitator workshops.

Preventure training in Australia is proudly supported by the The Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use at the University of Sydney and Positive Choices. To find out more about implementing Preventure in Australia, watch our webinar.

Benefits

  • Reduced alcohol consumption
  • Reduced frequency of alcohol use and binge drinking
  • Reduced uptake of alcohol and binge drinking
  • Reduced alcohol-related harms
  • Reduced update and frequency of cannabis use
  • Reduced uptake and frequency of illegal drug use
  • Reduced symptoms of depression, anxiety and conduct problems.

Watch the Preventure webinar to learn more about the benefits

Evidence Base

Preventure is supported by over 12 published studies, the most relevant studies are listed below. For a full list see Preventure Research.
See below also for an endorsement from an external organisation and an evidence base caution for a Preventure trial among teenagers in the Netherlands.

Sources

Studies supporting benefits of the program when administered by teachers who have received a 2-3 day training workshop with the developers: 

Mahu, I. T., Doucet, C., O'Leary-Barrett, M., & Conrod, P. J. (2015). Can cannabis use be prevented by targeting personality risk in schools? 24-month outcome of the adventure trial on cannabis use: a cluster randomized controlled trial. Addiction, 110, 1625-1633. 

Conrod, P. J., O'Leary-Barrett, M., Newton, N., Topper, L., Castellanos-Ryan, N., Mackie, C., & Girard, A. (2013). Effectiveness of a Selective, Personality-Targeted Prevention Program for Adolescent Alcohol Use and Misuse A Cluster Randomized Controlled Trial. JAMA Psychiatry, 70, 334-342. 

Studies supporting the benefits of the program delivered by a psychologist or experienced special needs teacher:

Lammers J, Goossens F, Conrod P, Engels R, Wiers RW, Kleinjan M. (2017). Effectiveness of a selective alcohol prevention program targeting personality risk factors: Results of interaction analyses. Addictive Behaviors. 71:82-8.

Conrod, P. J., Castellanos-Ryan, N., & Mackie, C. (2011). Long-Term Effects of a Personality-Targeted Intervention to Reduce Alcohol Use in Adolescents. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 79, 296-306. 

The program has been adapted for use in Australia, and the benefits have been demonstrated in two published studies:

Teesson M, Newton NC, Slade T, Carragher N, Barrett EL, Champion KE, et al. Combined universal and selective prevention for adolescent alcohol use: A cluster randomized controlled trial. Psychological Medicine. 2017;47(10):1761-70.

Newton, N., Conrod, P., Slade, T., Carragher, N., Champion, K., Barrett, E., Kelly, E., Nair, N., Stapinski, L. & Teesson, M. (2016). The long-term effectiveness of a selective, personality-targeted prevention program in reducing alcohol use and related harms: a cluster randomized controlled trial. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 57, 1056-1065. 

Evidence-base cautions
A  randomised controlled trial examining the effects of the program on the binge drinking behaviour of teenagers in the Netherlands found the program had little or no effect on reducing the overall prevalence of this behaviour among this group. However, longer term beneficial effects are promising i.e. reductions in the development of binge drinking over time. See the paper below for full details:

Lammers, J., Goossens, F., Conrod, P., Engels, R., Wiers, R. W., & Kleinjan, M. (2015). Effectiveness of a selective intervention program targeting personality risk factors for alcohol misuse among young adolescents: results of a cluster randomized controlled trial. Addiction, 110, 1101-1109.

The Preventure program is included in SAMSHA's National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (USA).
 

Page last reviewed: 27/11/2021

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