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Emergency room interventions may reduce alcohol-based violence among teens

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A brief counseling session or computerized intervention with teens who show up at the emergency room could help them avoid future alcohol use and violence. That's according to a study published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Medpage Today reports:

The SafERteens trial was conducted among 726 teens ages 14 to 18 who had visited a level I trauma center [emergency department] in Flint, Mich., between the hours of noon and 11 p.m. over a three-year period, and who had screened positive for both prior year alcohol use and aggression...

After a computerized assessment, participants (43.5% male, 55.9% African American) were randomized to one of three groups: either a 35-minute intervention delivered by a therapist or an intervention delivered via computer; controls were given a brochure.

Participants were evaluated at three and six months. After six months, teens who had talked with a therapist or interacted with a computer reported twice the reduction in alcohol-related consequences, such as fighting, as those who received a brochure.

Photo by Rosser321

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