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Basic Facts


PAS – Preventing heavy alcohol use in adolescents


PAS aims to delay the onset of alcohol use and to reduce heavy drinking by young people. The intervention consists of two parts: 1) an intervention for parents and 2) an intervention for junior high school students. The parents increase their restrictive and prohibitory attitudes toward underage drinking and are motivated to apply rules for their teen children, whereas the students develop more self-control and a healthy attitude towards alcohol. The intervention is targeted at students between 12 and 16 years. In total, PAS has a 3-year running time. The parent intervention was modelled after the Swedish Örebro Prevention Program.

In the Netherlands, the national coordinating body of PAS is located at the Trimbos Institute (Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction) within the broader Healthy School and Drugs programme. Prevention professionals of local municipal health and addiction agencies implement PAS at the schools. They provide the presentation at the parents’ evening, train the teachers (1-day training for working with the e-learning programme), and take care of, in close cooperation with the school staff, the overall implementation of alcohol prevention activities at a school.


  • National/regional/local government


  • National
  • Local


The main aim is to the delay onset of alcohol use and to reduce heavy drinking by young people. Sub goals are to motivate parents to apply restrictive rules regarding alcohol for their teen children and to develop more self-control and a healthy attitude towards alcohol (for students). 


Stakeholder Involvement

  • Target group(s)
  • Intermediate target group
  • Researchers
  • Material developers, creatives

Logic Model

Scientific: Scientific knowledge on alcohol specific socialization, parental norms and parental alcohol use (parent intervention);

  • The results of the Örebro Prevention Program (parent intervention);
  • Theory of planned behaviour and social cognitive theory (student intervention).

Past experience: Schools need prevention programmes that are focused on their needs and are not too difficult to implement. Very comprehensive programmes can be effective, however, they may be too intensive and costly for a school. PAS is a short and feasible intervention that can be implemented in an easy way without wasting too much resources.

Elements Of Plan

  • Literature review and/or formative research
  • Needs assessment
  • Detailed plan of action
  • Financial plan
  • Human resource management plan
  • Time schedule
  • Partners' agreement
  • Communication plan
  • Evaluation plan


Time Frame

  • Continuous

Target Group

  • Adolescents
  • Parents

Communication Channel

  • Brochures/leaflets/items
  • Website
  • E-mail
  • Meetings/conferences with experts/colleagues
  • Guidelines
  • Scientific publications

Core Activities

Parents and students are involved. Students’ activities are four individual e-lessons for first-year classes and booster lesson after 1 year. Core activities are also training-the-trainer for prevention professionals of 1 day, provided by Trimbos Institute (this training is aimed at the execution of the whole Healthy School and Drug Programme) and training of teachers by the prevention professionals of 1.5 hour.

Supportive activities

  • Consultancy
  • Supervision
  • Team meetings
  • Helpdesk



Internal & External


  • Process
  • Impact
  • Outcome


The combined PAS intervention (and not the separate parent and student interventions) showed substantial and significant effects on heavy weekly drinking, weekly drinking and frequency of drinking.

Effects were maintained at follow-ups at 22 months (on weekly drinking and frequency of drinking), at 34 months (on heavy weekly and weekly drinking) and at 50 months when the legal drinking age of 16 was reached (on heavy weekly drinking and amount of alcohol use). Now the legal age in the Netherlands is 18.

The PAS intervention was effective according to the theoretical assumptions that underlie the intervention (rules and attitudes by parents mediated the effect, as well as self-reported perceived rules and self-efficacy as was reported by the adolescents).

The combined PAS intervention is more effective among adolescents with low self-control and lenient parents.

The combined intervention was particularly effective in delaying the onset of heavy weekly drinking in a higher-risk subsample of adolescents (i.e. those attending lower levels of education and reporting higher levels of externalizing behaviour).

The combined PAS intervention is also effective in curbing adolescents' drinking behaviour in those who already were drinking at baseline.


All articles are published in international peer-reviewed journals.

Follow Up

At 22, 35 and 50 months.

Additional Information


Contact person: Jeroen Lammers, MSc

Organization: Trimbos Institute

Address: P.o box 725, 3500 AS Utrecht

Country: Netherlands

Telephone number: +31 30 2971 100

E-mail address:

Additional remarks

Last change: 16. 08. 2016 - 13:42, created: 16. 08. 2016
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