Is There Evidence for Drug Use Interventions?

USPSTF: Evidence Lacking for Drug Use Interventions
USPSTF: Evidence Lacking for Drug Use Interventions

(HealthDay News) — The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has found that there is currently insufficient evidence to recommend primary care interventions to prevent or reduce illicit drug use or nonmedical prescription drug use among youth. The findings are presented in a final recommendation statement published online March 11 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Carrie D. Patnode, PhD, MPH, from Kaiser Permanente Northwest in Portland, OR, and colleagues conducted a systematic review to examine the benefits and harms of primary care-relevant interventions designed to prevent or reduce illicit drug use or nonmedical prescription drug use among youths.

Six trials were included, of which four examined the effect of the intervention on a health or social outcome. The researchers found no effect of an intervention on marijuana-related consequences or driving under the influence of marijuana in one trial; no reduction was seen in depressed mood at 12 or 24 months in three trials. In four of the five trials reporting marijuana use, significant differences were identified favoring the intervention group participants. Positive outcomes were reported in nonmedical prescription drug use occasions in three trials.

"When there is a lack of evidence, doctors must use their clinical experience and judgment, and many clinicians may choose to talk with an adolescent to prevent or discourage risky behaviors, such as drug use," Task Force member Susan J Curry, PhD, said in a statement.

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