Below are 4 new studies that have implications for preventing youth and young adult substance use and promoting their well-being and positive development.
1. Youth Sports Support Mental Health
Key Finding: Sport is a promising and potentially engaging avenue for supporting mental health among adolescents.
Prevention Implication: Adolescents need more resources from coaches and parents to prevent, cope and help others with mental health issues, including substance use.
2. Health Behaviors Linked to College Attendance
Key Finding: Regular exercise, adequate sleep, healthy nutrition and avoiding tobacco, alcohol and marijuana use were associated with greater college aspirations and better grades.
Prevention Implication: Addressing all four health behaviors together is likely to have a synergistic and broader effect on academic success and overall health of emerging young adults than addressing individual health risks.
3. Adolescent Substance Use and Cancer Prevention
Key Finding: Most states in the US showed statistically equivalent performance on adolescent substance use related to cancer risk, i.e., past-month cigarette smoking, binge alcohol drinking and marijuana use.
Prevention Implication: Adolescents in all states would benefit from substance use prevention efforts to reduce lifelong cancer morbidity and mortality.
4. American Indian Youths on Reservations at Greater Risk for Substance Use
Key Finding: Reservation-based American Indian students are at high risk for nearly all substance use (e.g., alcohol, marijuana and other drugs) compared to national US youths.
Prevention Implication: Early prevention and screening for substance use, and cultural tailoring of evidence-based programs are needed for American Indian youth.
Please like and share these substance use prevention and health research findings with others in your region and state. Thank you.