UniVenture is a multi-site partnership that aims to adapt, test and implement the an effective and sustainable drug and alcohol prevention and mental health promotion program (PreVenture) for Canadian college students. This project intends to implement the adaptation at Dalhousie University, St. Francis Xavier University, York University, Université de Montréal and University of British Columbia.
Canadian university undergrads have alarmingly high rates of risky patterns of alcohol, cannabis, and prescription drug use. This substance misuse has harmful short and long-term effects that negatively impact students, their friends and families, and their communities. Harms can include academic struggles and even university dropout. These persisting high rates of substance misuse reflect a lack of effectiveness of universal, one-size-fits-all prevention programs currently used by Canadian universities. Prevention programs that are targeted and personalized to characteristics of vulnerable students are greatly needed. The PreVenture Program was originally developed by Dr. Patricia Conrod. It was inspired by scientific evidence that showed certain personality factors can be highly predictive of who goes on to develop problems with alcohol and substance misuse. Multiple randomized controlled trials conducted in Canada, Australia and the U.K., indicated that the PreVenture Program reduced and/or prevented mental health and substance use problems.
In this multi-site partnership, all the idiosyncratic stories, the workshops content and format (Face-to-face vs. Distance-delivery) of the PreVenture Program will be adapted to the needs and reality of undergraduate students. Once adapted and tested in a pilot study, the UniVenture partnership will train on-site graduate psychology and psychoeducation students to deliver the adaptation of PreVenture to groups of screened undergraduate students. Thus, during four semesters of program delivery, 1) graduate students have the opportunity to become certified PreVenture facilitators, 2) screened undergraduate students will have access to a targeted intervention, and 3) the PreVenture adaptation will be studied to determine its effect among University students.