Tijdschrift: Acta Paediatrica 2012

Effectiveness of a Dutch outpatient prevention-intervention programme after admittance for alcohol intoxication.

Authors: E. Van Zanten, M.D.C. de Visser, N. Van der Lely.

Alcohol abuse, particularly binge-drinking, is associated with neurocognitive brain damage, school- and psychosocial problems. Despite the known dangers and increased media attention, numbers of admitted children are still increasing in the Netherlands. Alcohol has become the most dangerous and widely used drugs amongst adolescents. In the Netherlands a multidisciplinary outpatient department prevention-intervention programme was developed.

Purpose To educate, screen and prevent relapse.

Material In January 2009 a protocol was implemented in four major non-academic hospitals in the Netherlands. Screening for underlying psychosocial, and cognitive problems was done by the paediatrician and child-psychologist. Information on alcohol use was given to adolescents and their parents.

Methods Data was  retrospectively and anonymously collected from medical records for the years 2009 and 2010. We included patients < 18 years old, with alcohol intoxication and reduced consciousness as main reason for admittance. Results A total of 350 children were invited to the program, of which 204 were screened. Average age was 15,6 years, 48% were girls, average ethanol concentration was 1,90 g/L. Of the < 16-year-old adolescents 61% stopped drinking, and 88,5% stopped binge-drinking. In 82,5% parents had implemented specific alcohol rules at follow-up. In 41,2% there were psychosocial problems, and in 34,3% school problems.

Conclusion A prevention-intervention programme for adolescents admitted with alcohol intoxication is effective, in particular for binge-drinking. Parents play an important role in their children’s alcohol use, and were effectively educated as well. Because of its success the central government decided to support a nationwide implementation of this programme.


In 2009 werd een nazorgtrjaect opgestart voor adolescenten met alcoholvergifiting. Het doel was patienten en ouders voorlichting te geven, maar ook onderliggende psychologische klachten te signaleren. In deze kleine studie werd gezien dat van de adolescenten jonger dan 16 jaar 60% stopte met drinken, en bijna 90% met binge drinken. Dit programma is met ondersteuning van de overheid inmiddels ook in andere Nederlandse ziekenhuizen gestart.