Young adulthood marks a period of increased alcohol and cannabis use, and heightened risk of associated harms including injury, violent behaviour, and onset of alcohol or drug use disorders. To reduce this substantial burden, effective prevention is essential and needs to be initiated before patterns of use are established. School-based prevention programs have proven an effective way to reduce the onset and escalation of alcohol and drug use. However, little is known about the durability of these effects during the transition to adulthood, a period characterised by unique risks and challenges.
This project brings together an international team who have developed two complementary prevention approaches: the universal “Climate” program and the selective “Preventure” program. Both have proven effective in reducing alcohol and cannabis harms in the short-term. The project builds on our NHMRC-funded trial, the Climate and Preventure (CAP) study, which was the world-first RCT of a comprehensive strategy combining universal and selective prevention. This trial cohort (n = 2,190) is now on the verge of the important transition into early adulthood, and provides a unique opportunity to address crucial questions about the sustainability of prevention effects.
This study will advance the evidence base in three significant ways: i) it will provide the world-first evaluation of the long-term (7-year) effectiveness of universal and selective prevention; ii) it will answer critical questions about the potential benefits of these approaches in reducing alcohol and drug-related
violence during the high-risk early adulthood period; and iii) it will provide crucial information about the mechanisms of change underlying these prevention.