School-based multiple risk behaviour interventions to prevent illicit drug use — evidence summary

Summary of the evidence

Unknown effectiveness

A recent systematic review (MacArthur et al 2018) of 70 RCTs addressing two or more risk behaviours (with a follow-up period of at least six months) and targetting children up to 18 years of age, found that:

  • universal school-based multiple risk behaviour interventions may be effective in preventing illicit drug use (OR 0.74, 95% CI 0.55 to 1.00; n=5 studies; 11,058 participants; low-quality evidence) at up to 12 months' follow-up


Note: this evidence summary is only valid for the outcomes, target groups, settings and substances/patterns of use described below.

Name of response option:
School-based interventions
Desired outcome(s):
reduce substance use
Specific substance or pattern of use:
not-drug specific
Target group(s) or setting(s):
young people

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