Alcohol, tobacco, cannabis … Addictive behaviors appear most often in adolescence: in France, one in five young people is affected by alcohol and other addictions, according to an Ipsos Health survey on risk behaviors published In June 2014. How to effectively educate 13-19 year-olds, who do not necessarily like to be told what to do? By involving them directly in a project for them. This idea, Inserm, the Interdepartmental Mission to Combat Drugs and Addictive Behaviors (Mildeca) and the Tree of Knowledge Association have applied it to create a website for scientific information on addiction: www. Maad-digital.fr (maad for “alcohol and drug addiction mechanisms”), posted online 24 November 2016.
71% of teenagers do not trust drug info
Between January 2015 and August 2016, scientists went to meet high school students aged 13 to 19 years to understand their needs and desires for scientific information on addictions. Through a national survey and individual interviews, they found that 71% of adolescents do not trust web-based information about addictions and drugs. For 60% of respondents, having validated scientific information would help them make choices about alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. From these findings was born this platform containing “verified, reliable and centralized information on addictions and drugs”, as Inserm summarizes.
Co-built with young people, the site offers articles, videos, infographics, quizzes, etc. Inspired by the universe of comics and series such as The Big Bang Theory, to answer questions as diverse as: how does one become addict? Why can alcohol make violent? Why is the brain of teenagers more addicted to cigarettes than adults? “And since we do not have the same expectations at 13 and 19, the articles have several levels of reading,” says Inserm. Targeted primarily at young people, the site also proposes that teachers use the content of the site to cover the biology courses of 5th, 4th, 3rd and high school to build their courses. For example, the reward system and the brain areas of the vision – subjects illustrated in images on the site – are on the high school curriculum.