The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports provides methodological guidance and coordinates prevention activities in the Czech Republic within the scope of the National Strategy for the Primary Prevention of Risk Behaviour for 2013-18. The local actors at regional, district and municipal levels play increasingly important roles in these activities. Since 2012, each region has established its own prevention plan, outlining the main priorities, the network of services and the coordination and funding of activities. NGOs are widely involved in prevention activities and receive project-based funding to carry out additional prevention activities in schools and in the out-of-school environment; this comes from subsidy proceedings at the national level, through the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and the GCDPC.
Prevention interventions encompass a wide range of approaches, which are complementary. Environmental and universal strategies target entire populations, selective prevention targets vulnerable groups that may be at greater risk of developing drug use problems and indicated prevention focuses on at-risk individuals.
In the Czech Republic, environmental prevention activities aim to reduce the availability of and access to tobacco and alcohol for those younger than 18 years.
Universal prevention activities in school settings are guided by the Minimum Preventive Programme. The programme addresses a broad range of risk behaviours, including social problems, such as truancy, bullying, racism, xenophobia, hooliganism, crime and the use of addictive substances. The European Union Drug Abuse Prevention (EU-Dap) pilot project, Unplugged, was piloted in the Czech Republic between 2006 and 2010. Following a thorough evaluation, which indicated a statistically significant reduction in recent tobacco use and a reduction in experimentation among its target audience (children aged 12-14), the programme was scaled up. In 2013-14, Unplugged booster sessions were introduced in more than 70 schools and the effectiveness of these sessions was evaluated in 2015. In addition, the Unplugged Parents module was introduced in selected schools. A number of other methodological materials and pilot programmes addressing the role of families in the prevention of high-risk behaviours were introduced in 2012.
A priority target audience for selective prevention activities is that of children and adolescents at risk of substance use, while local projects addressing high-risk families and children with attention and behavioural problems are also available. Selective prevention activities are mainly implemented by pedagogical and psychological counselling centres that carry out special programmes for schools or classes at risk, or are operated by NGOs. Apart from a wide network of special centres for children and young people at risk, a new project, Streetwork Online, was initiated in 2012. It applies the basic principles of low-threshold services, such as free-time activities, safe environments, prevention, contact with the internet environment and social media. Some interventions to reduce the risk of drug use in recreational settings have also been implemented, but remain limited.
Indicated prevention programmes are rare and target mainly adolescents who experiment with psychoactive substances and their families. One notable exception is Preventure, which is an indicated prevention programme targeting sensation seeking behaviour and focusing on alcohol and licit and illicit substance use, truancy, depression and anxiety.
Provision of interventions in schools in the Czech Republic (expert ratings)
NB Year of data 2015.