February 2014 Teen mothers on three American Indian reservations improved on several measures of parenting after participating in Family Spirit, a home-visiting intervention developed with NIDA support. At 12 months postpartum, the women’s children exhibited reduced rates of emotional difficulties predicting later drug abuse and other behavioral problems. Infants at highest risk—those whose mothers had histories of drug abuse—benefited the most.
Intensified screening for HIV among injection drug users receiving opioid agonist therapy could prevent more than twice as many new infections as current screening practice. A recent study based on mathematical modeling found that screening every 6 months instead of annually, and adding viral RNA testing to the currently used HIV antibody testing, could improve both effectiveness and cost-effectiveness.
March 2015 Family Spirit, a program that teaches parenting skills to American Indian teen mothers, improved participants’ children’s emotional and behavioral development throughout their first 36 months of life.
September 2015 New findings from a follow-up to a NIDA-supported trial indicate that the benefits of Multidimensional Treatment Foster Care extend to a reduction in illegal drug use in young adulthood.
The Strengthening Families Program for Youth 10-14 (SFP10-14), an evidence-based intervention that reduces teen substance use, also reduced participants’ friends’ substance use. Two factors that accounted for the nonparticipants’ reductions were less time spent by nonparticipants with their participating friends without adult supervision and improvements in nonparticipants’ attitudes toward substance use. The findings suggest that researchers should consider the potential for diffusion of benefits in designing and implementing prevention programs.
A survey that is a key tool in the Communities That Care prevention system is largely valid in Native American communities. Adjusting the survey to incorporate culturally specific risk and protective factors can improve its usefulness.