Exposure to Substance Use Prevention Messages and Substance Use Among Adolescents: 2002 to 2007

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U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

American adolescents (ages 12 to 17) who received messages aimed at preventing drug, alcohol and tobacco use were less likely to use these substances than those who did not hear the warnings, according to a national survey. However, youth exposure to these prevention messages declined significantly from 2002 to 2007.

At the same time, the number of teens who spoke with their parents about tobacco, alcohol and drugs increased by 1.5 percent, the survey showed. In the month those who had spoken with their parents were surveyed, the teens were 10 percent less likely to have drunk alcohol, 15 percent less likely to have smoked cigarettes and nearly 18 percent less likely to have used drugs.

Similarly, youths who were exposed to school-based prevention messages were significantly less likely to use alcohol, cigarettes and drugs than those who received no prevention information at school.

The findings were based on SAMHSA’s National Surveys on Drug Use and Health, comprehensive annual surveys of American drug use from 2002 to 2007. Free, four pages. http://oas.samhsa.gov/ 2k9/prevention/prevention.htm.