COUNTRIES: AUSTRIA, BELGIUM, GERMANY, GREECE, ITALY, SPAIN, SWEDEN
Implementer: European Drug Addiction Prevention Trial (EU-DAP) Study Group
Partners: Funding from the European Commission
Program Overview: Unplugged is an interactive classroom based program designed to prevent or delay alcohol consumption, drug use, and tobacco use among European adolescents ages 12-14.
Program Design1: Unplugged curriculum was developed based on a comprehensive social influence approach, which includes social learning theory, life skills theory, and normative beliefs. Program content is delivered in twelve interactive classroom lessons which fall into three categories:
- Knowledge and attitudes
- Interpersonal skills
- Intrapersonal skills
Program materials are available for download on the program website.
Evaluation: Programs materials and evaluation were originally developed to assess the effectiveness of Unplugged in seven European countries: Austria, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, and Sweden. The evaluation used a cluster randomized controlled trial. Across the seven countries 170 schools were randomly assigned to an experimental or control condition. Each school was then given a pre- and post-test questionnaire in order to evaluate changes in alcohol consumption, drug use, and tobacco use. Curriculum was taught between October 2004 and January 2005, with the first post test in April 2005 and a follow up to assess longer-term results in April 2006.
Key findings: Immediate results from the 3 month post test completion showed statistically significant improvements for all three substances:
- Intervention groups reported lower prevalence of having experienced any episode of drunkenness, as well as lower frequencies of drunkenness
- Program participants also reported less daily cigarettes use, and there was a marginal effect for cannabis use2
Results from the April 2006 follow up showed persisting effects for alcohol consumption and cannabis use, but not tobacco use3.
Program Website: www.eudap.net
1. Van Der Kreeft, P., Wiborg, G., Galanti, M. R., Siliquini, R., Bohrn, K., Scatigna, M., et al. (2009).“Unplugged”: A new European school programme against substance abuse. Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy,16(2), 167-181.
2. Faggiano, F., Galanti, M. R., Bohrn, K., Burkhart, G., Vigna-Taglianti, F., Cuomo, L., et al. (2008). The effectiveness of a school-based substance abuse prevention program: EU-Dap cluster randomised controlled trial. Preventive Medicine, 47(5), pp. 537-543.
3. Faggiano, F., Vigna-Taglianti, F., Burkhart, G., Bohrn, K., Cuomo, L., Gregori, D., et al. (2010). The effectiveness of a school-based substance abuse prevention program: 18-month follow-up of the EU-Dap cluster randomized controlled trial. Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 108(1-2), 56-64.
Target Audience: Middle school (10-14 years)
Issues: Underage Drinking