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Coventure Project

A Cluster randomized trial investigating the effects of delaying the onset of substance use on adolescent cognitive development.
Article en format pdf Coventure Project

Context :

Adolescent onset alcohol and illicit drug use are associated with a myriad of immediate and long-term negative consequences. Onset of alcohol use at or before 14 years of age is strongly associated with increased risk of developing alcohol use disorders, with rates of adult alcohol dependence in this early onset group estimated at 40%. Adolescent substance use is also associated with greater risk for mental health problems, suicidal behavior, other drug use, poor academic performance, school drop-out, risky sexual behaviours, poor physical health, and injuries.
The Coventure project provides a unique opportunity to examine the beneficial effects of early psychological intervention (Preventure) on cognitive development and future addiction, while controlling for neuropsychological factors implicated in the predisposition to early onset drinking and drug use. The Preventure Program is a school-based alcohol and drug prevention program proven to prevent onset and growth in alcohol and substance misuse in youth (Conrod, Castellanos, & Mackie, 2008; Conrod, Castellanos & Strang, 2010; O’Leary-Barrett et al., 2010). This selected personality-targeted approach is based on a psychosocial model and targets four personality-specific motivational pathways to substance misuse.

Objectives :

More precisely, the first objective is to examine how this evidence-based intervention can reduce the onset of substance use disorders in young people and related secondary mental health, academic and cognitive outcomes through longer-term trial of this intervention strategy. We will also use sensitive neuropsychological measures to examine how this evidence-based intervention can positively impact on cognitive development over the course of adolescence.

Subjects :

This is a cluster randomized design in which 30-32 high schools across Montreal will be randomly assigned to receive training and to deliver the Preventure programme to one cohort of Grade 7 students (intervention group) or to be trained and assisted in delivering the programme to a future Year 7 cohort (control group). Evaluations of students will occur annually from September to December until the end of high school. Student will be assessed on personality, substance use, mental health and cognitive measures.

Principal investigator : Patricia Conrod.

Coordinator : Aïssata Sako, |Tel: 514-345-4931 ext 4071