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Text Message Intervention Can Reduce Binge Drinking in Young Adults

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A new text message intervention system has shown that it can be effective in reducing binge drinking by young adults. This program is the first one of this type, and the participants who took part showed less binge drinking and fewer injuries related to alcohol use in comparison with the control group and a third group that was self monitoring. The positive effects that the text intervention had was still present 6 months after the program ended. Pitt Emergency Medicine assistant professor and lead study author Brian Suffoletto, M.D. explained “Given the low cost to send text messages and the capacity to deliver them to almost every at-risk young adult, a text message-based intervention targeting binge drinking could have a public health impact on reducing both immediate and long-term health problems.”

The text message intervention for binge drinking has shown terrific results so far. The study involved a 12 week trial that was randomized, with more than 750 participants taking part in the trial. Suffoletto discussed the trial findings and results, saying “Our text message-based intervention is scalable, provides uniform behavioral materials, and seems to produce meaningful, potentially life-saving results. By interacting with these young adults in a way in which they are receptive to communicating, and reducing the stigma associated with traditional face-to-face counseling, text messages can provide the boost they need to control their drinking when they are at their most vulnerable to forget what is healthiest for them.” Would you be willing to sign up for text message intervention? Why or why not?

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