This paper reviews the international scientific evidence on the effectiveness of secondary prevention interventions for young drug users. The review provides insight into the effectiveness of interventions that have been evaluated using moderately strong research designs.
Most of the studies included are from the-United States of America. Some interventions are effective in reducing drug use and associated problems while others have no or mixed effect. Those successful in reducing drug use include behavior therapy, Minnesota 12-step programs, residential care, and general drug treatment.
Those with either no effect or mixed effect include schools interventions. Involving parents and other agencies may enhance an intervention's effect. There is a lack of good quality studies outside the USA.
Future interventions should focus on either low- or high-risk groups of young drug users. Future research should be conducted on a wider range of services for young people and include non-medical outcomes such as communication skills, schooling, employment, family relations, and economic costs.
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