Consider Prevention Interventions With Adolescents

How we learn about interventions 

How much do you know about the intervention process? Chances are that prior to March 2005 the word “intervention” was seldom used in homes across the United States; however, on March 6, 2005, the A&E Network debuted their reality show that deals with addiction and specifically about the process of families intervening to convince their loved one to seek treatment for their addiction. The series is called simply INTERVENTION.

The series received the Emmy Nomination twice for Outstanding Reality Series and won the Emmy in 2009. Additionally, INTERVENTION has won the PRISM Award five times, an award in the entertainment industry for accurate depiction of social issues. Over the past seven years with 13 seasons INTERVENTION has been a teaching tool that families could use to learn more about addiction and how to work with their loved ones to begin the road to recovery. The episodes were brutally honest, but at the same time hopeful and David McKillop, the executive VP of Programming at A&E Network and Bio Channel explained when announcing that the final season would begin June 13, 2013:

“As Intervention comes to an end, we’re proud to have paved the way for such an original and groundbreaking series. We’re honored to have been a part of the 243 interventions since its premiere in March of 2005, leading to the 156 individuals that are currently sober to this day.”

So now we are into the final episodes, but along the way we have learned so much. We have learned that interventions can be a new beginning for the entire family and we have learned that facing our own reality is the first step. And maybe, just maybe, INTERVENTION has been a catalyst for the parents of younger children to be aware and cognizant of their children’s behavior.

New study examines impulsive adolescents

On June 25, 2013, the journal ADDICTION published online the results of new research conducted by scientists at the University of Liverpool: Multiple behavioural impulsivity tasks predict prospective alcohol involvement in adolescents.

Study’s parameters


  • The study took place in North West England
  • 287 adolescents were studied
  • 51% of the students were male
  • Students were 12 or 13 at the time they enrolled in the study
  • The participants repeated computer tests every six months over a two year period


Study’s results

According to ScienceDaily:


Results showed that those participants who were more impulsive in the tests went on to drink more heavily or have problems with alcohol at a later time.
The study did not, however, show that alcohol consumption led to increased impulsive behaviour on the computer tests. This suggests that there is a link between impulsivity and adolescent drinking, but that alcohol may not necessarily lead to increased impulsive behaviour in the short-term.

As one of the researchers, Professor Matt Field, expresses so eloquently: “Our results show that more impulsive individuals are more likely to start drinking heavily in the future compared to less impulsive individuals. The next steps are to take these results and apply them to prevention interventions that are tailored to individual characteristics, such as impulsivity. We also need to conduct studies where we follow-up young people for longer than the two years that we did in the present study. This will help us to understand whether heavy drinking over a longer period during adolescence has an impact on impulsive behaviour.”

Going forward…

As with any research, this is another step in understanding human behavior. Parenting is a journey that takes us on many winding roads. If you feel you need to discuss your child’s risky, impulsive behavior take time for yourself to get solid answers.

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