University of Oviedo
Evaluation and prevention of adolescent addictions: smoking, drinking, gaming and gambling

Sergio Fernandez-Artamendi is Doctor in Psychology with International Mention from the University of Oviedo, Spain. He has worked as a researcher at the CIBERSAM and he is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology, as well as member of the Addictive Behaviors Research of this University; He is also a member of the board of Socidrogalcohol. His research career has focused on the evaluation of problems of alcohol, cannabis and other substances in young people, and the treatment of addiction in adolescents, particularly cannabis, using evidence-based interventions. Currently he is involved in projects on impulsivity and alcohol abuse in young people and the relationship between snuff and cognitive performance in schizophrenia. As a result of these works, he has numerous publications in prestigious national and international scientific journal.

Adolescence is a vulnerable period, if not the most vulnerable, for the development of drug use patterns and other possible addictive behaviors. Not in vain, most of the population start using drugs in the second decade of their lives, when they are between 10 and 20 years of age. In Spain, there is currently an estimated 14.1% of adolescents and young adults who report having used cannabis in the last 30 days, and about 68.2% of adolescents aged 14-18 who have drunk alcohol in this same period. Moreover, in recent years adolescents have joined new addictive patterns and about 24% of them inform having engaged in different forms of gambling and a significant proportion present with issues related to internet gaming.
For these reasons, the study of the different risk factors associated to addictive behaviors and the appropriate and timed evaluation of their problems is crucial to develop effective interventions and preventive strategies. In this symposium, Daniel Lloret Irles, Ph.D. will describe the implementation of a novel prevention program aimed at cannabis abuse, and the preliminary results regarding its effectiveness with a big sample of adolescents, commenting on its virtues, flaws, and further improvements. Víctor Martínez-Loredo, M.S., will analyse the influence of some key personality features, namely impulsivity and sensation seeking, on the development of gambling and gambling issues later in adolescence, updating us on some of the advances regarding the assessment tools in the field. Marta Labrador-Méndez, Ph.D., will review the most recent data on internet gaming and related problems with multiplayer online games, proposing a quick and accurate instrument that overcomes the limitations of previous tools and will help with prevention and intervention tasks. Finally, Sergio Fernández-Artamendi, Ph.D., will shed some light on the interrelation between impulsivity and sensation seeking with early drinking, binge drinking and problem drinking among adolescents from a longitudinal perspective, and its implications for prevention.