Page last updated:October 18, 2017

Talk about Alcohol programme found to be effective in areas where alcohol related indices of harm for under 18s are highest

The Alcohol Education Trust created, piloted and trialled the Talk about Alcohol programme over 2 years in a UK setting. Following a successful independent matched evaluation by NFER among 4,000 pupils in 30 schools (2011-13) there was a further follow up 2 years later (2015) of the same cohort. The AET has continued to enhance its offer and is now working towards rolling out its evidence based alcohol resources (3/3 in the Centre for Analysis for Youth Transitions CAYT matrix) in England.

The Alcohol Education Trust (AET) commissioned the UCL Institute of Education to evaluate its effectiveness as part of a grant from The Life Education and Education Foundation (LEAF). It was a one-year evaluation of their Talk about Alcohol programme from September 2015 to July 2016 to assess the impact on Year 8 (age 12-13) students in three local alcohol action areas (LAAA’s) of high deprivation where alcohol related hospital admissions for under 18s were in the top ten in England.

The aim was to find whether the Talk about Alcohol programme is as effective in targetted areas as it is in the general school-aged population. The main outcomes were age of onset of drinking, frequency of drinking, frequency of drunkeness/binge drinking, social norm perceptions and life skills related to alcohol risk-taking. The evaluation of the programme in high-risk areas for alcohol-related indices of harm for under 18’s supports the conclusions of the previous matched evaluation. The Talk about Alcohol programme was found to be an effective early intervention for participating students in delaying the onset of drinking alcohol, and improving knowledge about alcohol and its effects. The intervention also showed effect in preventing an increase in the frequency of drinking and drunkenness.

The report authors stress that continued fidelity to the Talk About Alcohol programme in Year 9 will be a key aspect of its continued effectiveness. The success is further underscored by the enthusiasm of the participating schools, with 100% wishing to complete the two additional lessons in Year 9.

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