This study assessed the effectiveness of mentoring to prevent adolescent alcohol/drug use.
Cochrane CENTRAL (issue 4), MEDLINE (1950‐to July 2011), EMBASE (1980‐to July 2011), 5 other electronic and 11 Grey literature electronic databases, 10 websites, reference lists, experts in addictions and mentoring. Cochrane CENTRAL (issue 4), MEDLINE (1950‐to July 2011), EMBASE (1980‐to July 2011), 5 other electronic and 11 Grey literature electronic databases, 10 websites, reference lists, experts in addictions and mentoring were included in the search for studies. The authors identified 2,113 abstracts, independently assessed 233 full‐text articles, 4 RCTs met inclusion criteria. Two reviewers independently extracted data and assessed risks of bias. Investigators were contacted for missing information. All four RCTs were in the US and included “deprived” and mostly minority adolescents. Participants were young (in two studies age 12, and in two others 9‐16). All students at baseline were non‐users of alcohol and drugs. Two RCTs found mentoring reduced the rate of initiation of alcohol, and one of drug usage. The ability of the interventions to be effective was limited by the low rates of commencing alcohol and drug use during the intervention period in two studies (the use of marijuana in one study increased to 1% in the experimental and to 1.6% in the control group, and in another study drug usage rose to 6% in the experimental and 11% in the control group). However, in a third study there was scope for the intervention to have an effect as alcohol use rose to 19% in the experimental and 27% in the control group. The studies assessed structured program and not informal mentors. (Published abstract provided)
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