This study assessed the effectiveness of mass media campaigns in preventing or reducing the use of or intention to use illicit drugs among young people.
Substance‐specific mass media campaigns which address young people are widely used to prevent illicit drug use. They aim to reduce use and raise awareness of the problem. So, the current study assessed the effectiveness of mass media campaigns in preventing or reducing the use of or intention to use illicit drugs among young people. The authors searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL, The Cochrane Library 2013, Issue 1), including the Cochrane Drugs and Alcohol Group's Specialised Register; MEDLINE through PubMed (from 1966 to 29 January 2013); EMBASE (from 1974 to 30 January 2013) and ProQuest Dissertations & Theses A&I (from 1861 to 3 February 2013). Study designs involved cluster‐randomised controlled trials, prospective and retrospective cohort studies, interrupted time series, and controlled before and after studies evaluating the effectiveness of mass media campaigns in influencing drug use, intention to use or the attitude of young people under the age of 26 towards illicit drugs. The authors used the standard methodological procedures of The Cochrane Collaboration. Overall, the available evidence does not allow conclusions about the effect of media campaigns on illicit drug use among young people. The authors conclude that further studies are needed. (Published abstract provided)