A study published in the Journal of Substance Abuse aimed to trial an adapted version of the School Health and Alcohol Harm Reduction Project (SHAHRP) in Northern Ireland, an intervention that aims to enhance alcohol-related knowledge, create more healthy alcohol-related attitudes and reduce alcohol-related harms in 14-16 year olds.
Intervention and control groups assessed students at baseline and 12, 24 and 32 months after baseline. Students were from post-primary schools (high schools) in the Eastern Health Board Area in Northern Ireland. 2349 participants were recruited at baseline (mean age 13.84) with an attrition rate of 12.8% at 32-month follow-up. The intervention was an adapted, culturally competent version of SHAHRP, a curriculum programme delivered in two consecutive academic years, with an explicit harm reduction goal. Knowledge, attitudes, alcohol consumption, context of use, harm associated with own alcohol use and the alcohol use of other people were assessed at all time points.
The study found significant intervention effects on all measures (intervention vs. controls) with differential effects observed for teacher-delivered and outside facilitator-delivered SHAHRP. The authors conclude state that the study provides evidence of the cultural applicability of a harm reduction intervention (SHAHRP) for risky drinking in adolescents in a UK context.
Source: McKay MT; McBride NT; Sumnall HR; Cole JC, “Reducing the harm from adolescent alcohol consumption: results from an adapted version of SHAHRP in Northern Ireland”, Journal of Substance Use, Published early online 8 February 2012