New Research & Resources for Prevention Specialists

New Research & Resources for Prevention Specialists

Below are several recent studies and tools which substance use and health professionals will find helpful in promoting healthy and substance abuse-free lifestyles among youth and adults in their organizations and communities.   

  1. Prosocial Identities and Youth Violence 

Research has shown that identity influences adolescent health decisions such as substance use and violence.  

This study published in the Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency examined how prosocial identity is associated with violent behavior among youth.

Researchers found that a greater prosocial identity was associated with less violent behavior among adolescents, and that identify was connected with actions youth intentionally took. 

The implication is that prevention and health professionals should work to increase prosocial identities of youth and young adults, such as those associated with being physically active and engaging in health-promoting behaviors.  

In addition, asking youth to set goals to increase prosocial and health habits could increase positive self-images and further reduce unhealthy and negative behaviors. 

Read the study abstract:


  1. Multiple Risk Behavior Interventions for Youth 

Multiple risk behavior interventions hold promise for positively influencing more than a one risk at a time among youth and young adults. 

This study was a Cochrane systematic review of the effects of multiple risk behavior programs among youth aged 8-25 years. 

The results of this study were presented orally and published as an abstract in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health

Findings showed strongest evidence for universal school-level interventions targeting multiple risk behaviors, particularly alcohol and physical activity and to a lesser degree drug use and anti-social behavior. 

The key implication is that multiple risk behavior programs could simultaneously prevent alcohol and other drug use while promoting active and more positive lifestyles among school-aged youth. 

Read the study abstract:


  1. Low Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines 

The Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines Communications Toolkit is published by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction. 

The toolkit was designed to increase awareness and discussion about drinking in moderation  

While recent published epidemiological research now suggests that there is no completely safe level of alcohol use, this toolkit provides a number of useful resources promoting the message of drinking in moderation for those aged 25-65 years, including: 

  • Drinking tips​
  • ​Posters
  • Banner ads and web buttons
  • Graphics for social media platforms
  • Facts sheets​
  • Infographic 

Get the toolkit:


  1. Elevated Rates of Substance Use among Affluent Youth 

While this study was published last year, I thought the findings were important enough to report here.     

This research, published in the journal Development and Psychopathology, examined the alcohol and drug use of upper middle class youth in a prospective study. 

The researchers reported the need to take seriously the elevated rates of substance use, heavy use and dependence found among adolescents in affluent American school communities. 

The implication is prevention specialists should not neglect the need for top private schools and those serving more affluent students to implement evidence-based substance use prevention programs for their youth. 

Read the study abstract: 

Please like and share this important research with others in your region and state.  Thank you!

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