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Curtin University
Collaboration for Evidence, Research and Impact in Public Health

Adaptation and Feasibility of Community Delivered Individualised Cannabis and Alcohol Interventions in Young People Aged 18-25 (2010-2012)


Chief Investigator

  • Dr Harry Sumnall (Centre for Public Health John Moore University Liverpool)


  • Professor Bruce Maycock (WACHPR, Curtin University)
  • Dr James Cole (School of Psychology, University of Liverpool)
  • Jason Grugan (Addiction and Offender Health, Liverpool PCT)
  • Susan O’Looney (Liverpool DAAT)
  • Lisa Nolan (Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHS), Liverpool)
  • Jo Potier (Royal Liverpool Children's NHS Trust)

Collaborating Partners

  • School of Psychology, University of Liverpool
  • Addiction and Offender Health, Liverpool PCT
  • Liverpool DAAT
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health (CAMHS), Liverpool
  • Royal Liverpool Children's NHS Trust


  • John Moore University of Liverpool

Project Aim

This proposed research will proceed in several linked stages and aims to answer the following questions:

  • What individual-level constructs specified by risk and protective models of substance use are predictive of alcohol and cannabis use? What are the strengths of these associations?
  • What is the evidence for effectiveness of indicated prevention and individualised interventions?
  • Which of these constructs can be modelled behaviourally and which are likely to be sensitive to individualised interventions?
  • Can individualised interventions that have been developed internationally be adapted and delivered in UK settings and what is the role of the NHS and local authorities in supporting this?

Project Overview

The researchers will conduct a meta-analysis in order to identify individual level factors and constructs that best predicted the development of substance related disorders and harms. This phase of work will be supplemented by a survey in young people (aged 18-25) designed to identify the relative role of identified mediating factors in determining substance use behaviours and propensity to harm (~6 months). Analysis will include standard inferential statistics, in particular structural equation modelling for mediator analysis and latent class analysis to allow identification of ‘risk’ subtypes that might benefit from intervention. The next substantial phase of the research will be dependent upon prior results and proceed in close consultation with advisers from the PCT and local authority. It is the intention of this phase (~6 months) to develop a pilot individualised intervention for alcohol and/or cannabis use, based on findings from earlier stages of the research. This is an important piece of work and would require the researchers to consider health service and drugs policy, funding streams, the delivery of evidence based interventions, as well as client acceptability of interventions designed to identify individual level risk factors and address illegal behaviours (i.e. cannabis use) in the community. The final phase is to design a small pilot study examining the efficacy of such an intervention.