The evidence behind the trial was strong and the findings proved that harm minimisation programs work to effectively reduce harmful outcomes from drinking. Students undertaking the program
1. consumed less alcohol;
2. consumed alcohol in a less risky manner;
3. experienced less harm associated with the drinking of alcohol
The article prompted much discussion, some of it very entertaining, some if it a bit disturbing and even some that was actually on topic.
Lastly, kudos to Justin for all his hard work analysing the article and presenting the evidence in a way that was easily understandable to all who came.
Stay tuned for the next one as we are hoping that it will be even better.
Midford, R., Mitchell, J., Lester, L., Cahill, H., Foxcroft, D., Ramsden, R., ... & Pose, M. (2014). Preventing alcohol harm: Early results from a cluster randomised, controlled trial in Victoria, Australia of comprehensive harm minimisation school drug education. International Journal of Drug Policy, 25(1), 142-150.
Study protocol for the article:
Midford, R., Cahill, H., Foxcroft, D., Lester, L., Venning, L., Ramsden, R., & Pose, M. (2012). Drug education in victorian schools (DEVS): the study protocol for a harm reduction focused school drug education trial. BMC public health, 12(1), 112.
Trial registration at the Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Centre:
Self-reporting as an accurate measurement tool:
Lintonen, T., Ahlström, S., & Metso, L. (2004). The reliability of self-reported drinking in adolescence. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 39(4), 362-368.
If you are interested in the topic of school based education programs on alcohol, drugs and mental health you may be interested in the CLIMATE schools prevention program. An online intervention currently being implemented and researched by NDARC . You can view that project's study protocol here. The project is currently underway and due for completion in 2016.