Meta-analysis of interventions to treat adolescent alcohol abuse

January 01, 0001

Meta-analysis of interventions to treat adolescent alcohol abuse

These US authors conducted a meta-analysis to assess the effectiveness of substance abuse interventions for their ability to reduce adolescent alcohol use. They included 16 studies and 26 outcomes. All studied reported completion of a substance abuse intervention that aimed to reduce or eliminate alcohol consumption.

They found: “Pooled effects of standardized mean differences indicate that interventions significantly reduce adolescent alcohol use (Hedges g = -0.61). Stratified analyses revealed larger effects for individual treatment (Hedges g = -0.75) compared with family-based treatments (Hedges g = -0.46).”

The authors concluded: “Treatments for adolescent substance abuse appear to be effective in reducing alcohol use. Individual-only interventions had larger effect sizes than family-based interventions and effect sizes decreased as length of follow-up increased. Furthermore, behavior-oriented treatments demonstrated promise in attaining long-term effects.”

Individual behavior-oriented treatments for adolescents with substance abuse disorders appear to be the best bet.

For the full abstract, click here.

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 164(1):85-91, January 2010 © 2010 to the American Medical Association
A Randomized Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial of 5 Smoking Cessation Pharmacotherapies. Megan E. Piper, Stevens S. Smith, Tanya R. Schlam, et al. Correspondence to: Dr. Piper:

Category: Z. Social Problems. Keywords: alcohol abuse, adolescents, interventions, meta-analysis
Synopsis edited by Dr Linda French, Toledo, Ohio. Posted on Global Family Doctor 12 January 2010

Pearls are an independent product of the Cochrane primary care group and are meant for educational use and not to guide clinical care.