Co-Venture Project

The Co-venture project: A cluster randomized trial investigating the effects of delaying the onset of substance use on adolescent cognitive development

The CO-VENTURE project provides schools an opportunity to participate in a large CIHR-funded randomized trial of a drug and alcohol prevention program that has been shown to

These interventions are delivered by trained school staff at schools to groups of adolescents and help adolescents develop coping skills to better manage aspects of their personalities that are associated with risky behaviours, and help them to identify and pursue their long-term goals. The interventions are based on psycho-educational, motivational enhancement therapy and cognitive-behavioural components and are delivered in a supportive, empathic framework.

To view more information on the Preventure intervention, click here.

Why is this project needed now ?

Adolescent onset alcohol and illicit drug use are associated with a myriad of immediate and long-term negative consequences. Onset of alcohol use at or before 14 years of age is strongly associated with increased risk of developing alcohol use disorders, with rates of adult alcohol dependence in this early onset group estimated at 40%. Adolescent substance use is also associated with greater risk for mental health problems, suicidal behavior, poor academic performance, school drop-out, risky sexual behaviours, poor physical health, and injuries.

Our research team has now repeatedly and consistently shown that psychological interventions targeting personality risk factors for substance misuse are highly effective in preventing and reducing alcohol and drug use in adolescents. Beneficial effects of the PREVENTURE program on substance use outcomes have been replicated in three separate trials in Canada and the United Kingdom, showing 30%-80% reductions in drinking, binge drinking and illicit drug use, and onset of problem symptoms over a two-year period.


Primary: to examine how this evidence-based intervention (Preventure) can reduce the onset of substance use disorders in young people and related secondary mental health, academic and cognitive outcomes through longer-term trial of this intervention strategy.

Secondary: to use sensitive neuropsychological measures to examine how this evidence-based intervention can positively impact on cognitive development over the course of adolescence.


Why should your school participate in this project ?

Participating in this project will allow your school to receive training and intervention tools, material relevant to the Preventure program and method at no cost to your administration. The technique can be applied to secondary students of subsequent years long after the research project has been completed. This initiative will contribute to your school’s drug and alcohol prevention measures. As an academic institution there is much to gain in contributing to this research project, particularly due to the detrimental effects of drug and alcohol use has detrimental effects on adolescents’ cognitive development and risk of school drop-out.

Coventure is also an opportunity to provide your students with information about research and to meet professionals working in the field, as well as to collaborate with a well-established research unit which focuses on child and adolescent psychosocial maladjustment.

Previous research projects have not shown any physical, psychological or social risk for adolescents who participated in the Preventure projects ; instead we anticipate benefits associated with taking part.
Would you like to take part ?

The project will take place in secondary schools of Montreal over a 5 year period, from grade 7 to grade 11. Participating schools are required to have stidents starting from grade 7.

If you would like to take part or to receive more information, please CONTACT us.