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Home > EMCDDA manuals no 7. European drug prevention quality standards. A manual for prevention professionals.

European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. (2011) EMCDDA manuals no 7. European drug prevention quality standards. A manual for prevention professionals. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.

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The common view of drug prevention, particularly in lay audiences, is that it consists of informing (generally warning) young people about the effects (most commonly the dangers) of drug use. Prevention is then often equated with (mass media)campaigns. However, there is currently no evidence to suggest that the sole provision of information on drug effects has an impact on drug use behaviour, or that mass media campaigns are cost-effective. In reality, the challenge of prevention lies in helping young people to adjust their behaviour, capacities, and wellbeing in fields of multiple influences such as social norms, interaction with peers, living conditions, and their own personality traits. This view is also reflected in current prevention approaches. To provide a simplified overview, environmental prevention strategies target social norms, universal prevention targets skills development and interaction with peers and social life, selective prevention focuses on living and social conditions, and indicated prevention facilitates dealing and coping with individual personality traits and psychopathology.


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