Alcohol Addiction, Drug Addiction, Facts About Addiction, Families & Addiction, Substance Abuse, Teenagers & Addiction  |  October 06, 2016

Many of us who’ve sent children through public schools in Connecticut are familiar with the drug and alcohol prevention program called D.A.R.E.

D.A.R.E. was designed to help children understand the risks of drugs and alcohol while also teaching them critical avoidance tactics in the hope that a generation of children could be spared the tragic consequences of misuse and abuse.

Did the program work?

Not as well as researchers and educators had hoped.

Now a researcher in Montreal, Canada is advancing a new approach – with promising potential.  It’s called Preventure and it seeks to identify children with personality traits that are sometimes predictive of later addictive behavior.  Early trials of Preventure appear to show that personality testing can identify up to 90 percent of high risk children, allowing educators and parents to target children at risk of addiction for special assistance before their risky traits cause problems.

The program involves intensive teacher training designed to help educators understand and help youngsters with risky traits. Personality testing of students identifies those at highest risk.

Just what are the traits researchers claim are predictive for addiction?

Months following the personality tests – students are invited to participate in intensive workshops that target areas of each student’s vulnerability.

Program advocates stress there is no labeling of students in this program.  High risk students are simply identified and channeled to receive the support and counseling they need to lower their future risks for addictive behaviors.

In one British study of Preventure, published in JAMA Psychiatry in 2013, the program appears to have cut drinking in selected schools by 29 percent with highest-risk kids seeing a 43 percent drop in binge drinking.

Can a program like Preventure make a difference in Connecticut?  It seems likely.  In fact, one of the primary reasons Aware Recovery Care utilizes family counselors as part of the treatment team in its program is because we have seen the value of early intervention for families in crisis.

If you know someone struggling with addiction to drugs or alcohol in Connecticut - the drug and alcohol rehab specialists at Aware Recovery Care can help immediately.  Using a treatment model inspired by researchers at Yale, Aware Recovery Care is helping addicts recover at rates 350% above the national average.  Learn more today at www.awarerecoverycare.com.

Photo credit: mdanys via Foter.com / CC BY