Drug prevention

Any activity that is (at least partially) aimed at preventing or reducing drug use and/ or its negative consequences in the general population or subpopulations, including preventing or delaying the initiation of drug use, promoting cessation of use, reducing the frequency and/or quantity of use, preventing the progression to hazardous or harmful use patterns and/or preventing or reducing negative consequences of use. Prevention activities can be carried out with different target populations (e.g. school pupils, young offenders), in different settings (e.g. community, school, family), using different methods and contents (e.g. information provision, life skills training) and range from one-off to long-term activities. Some activities address drugs directly, while other activities promote health in general and encourage people to make healthy choices, thereby indirectly preventing or reducing drug use. Depending on how the target population is defined, the following types can be distinguished: universal prevention; selective prevention; indicated prevention; tiered prevention. A previously used typology distinguished primary, secondary and tertiary prevention; however, the categorisation by target population has superseded this typology. Drug prevention is also known as substance abuse prevention.