Programs Help Teens Avoid 'Crystal Meth'

Results come after just a few sessions, researchers say

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TUESDAY, Sept. 5, 2006 (HealthDay News) -- Short-term, family- and school-based intervention programs can help keep teens from abusing methamphetamine, researchers report.

A team from Iowa State University conducted studies that assessed preventive programs in rural public schools in the Midwest from 1993 to 2004.

One program, Preparing for the Drug-Free Years, is a five-session course created to improve parent-child interaction and reduce the risk for early drug use in children. Another course is the seven-session Iowa Strengthening Families Program that's designed to promote healthy interactions among family members. That study also looked at another program called Life Skills Training.

They found that Preparing for the Drug-Free Years didn't significantly reduce methamphetamine use. But the Iowa Strengthening Families Program, with or without the Life Skills Training course, produced a statistically significant decrease in both short-term and lifetime methamphetamine use among teens. Lifetime Skills Training by itself was effective in addressing lifetime use, the study said.

"The observed intervention effects were obtained by addressing general risk and protective factors for drug use associated with family and school environments," the researchers wrote.

The findings were published in the September issue of the journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

More information

The U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy has more about methamphetamine.

SOURCE: JAMA/Archives journals, news release, Sept. 4, 2006

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