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Home > International standards in prevention: how to influence prevention systems by policy interventions?

Burkhart, Gregor (2014) International standards in prevention: how to influence prevention systems by policy interventions? International Journal of Prevention and Treatment of Substance Use Disorders , 1 , (3-4) , pp. 18-37. DOI: 10.4038/ijptsud.v1i3-4.7836.

URL: http://ijptsud.sljol.info/articles/abstract/10.403...

The existence of multiple standards for drug prevention, published by different national and international organisations, might seem redundant and confusing at a glance. This paper aims to explain the rationales of the different standards and that they differentially respond to specific challenges of each of the three main components of a prevention system: interventions, services and people. Effectiveness of standards can improve the effectiveness of programmes and interventions, while process standards can improve the con-text within which effective programmes and interventions are implemented.

The variety of the existing standards and their different levels of exigencies can be beneficiary if policy makers apply them in combination - ie. choosing effective interventions and assuring that they are properly implemented and accepted, and in the appropriate cultural and geographic context. Other international organisations involved provide additional support such as certified training and online resources. Taken together, these initiatives might pave the way for setting up accreditation systems, in some countries, and help to assure that prevention providers take up such effective interventions and that prevention professionals are capable of implementing and willing to use it. All this requires, however, the political will to actually implement these standards since it implies revising, challenging and improving customary prevention systems with traditional approaches.


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