The National Strategy and Action Plan on Drugs and Addictions 2015-19 identifies prevention as a main intervention area and aims to reduce initiation of drug use, delay the onset of drug use and encourage protective actions and healthy lifestyles in the general population and at-risk groups. The planning and implementation of drug prevention is under the authority of governmental actors and results from collaboration between the Ministry of Health, the National Drug Coordination Office, the Division of Preventive Medicine of the Directorate of Health and the National Drug Addiction Prevention Centre (CePT).
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.
Universal prevention is mainly implemented in schools, although drug-related information and prevention modules are not mandatory in school curricula. Schoolbased programmes are usually implemented through joint cooperation between the government and nongovernmental organisations (NGOs), and teachers are offered specific training. Trained psychologists look out for problems or behaviours in relation to substance use that is still at a very early stage
The national approach is partly based on the hypothesis that adolescents who are physically fit and mentally stimulated, and who live in a stable, supportive environment with empathic parents, are less likely to experience problems related to the use of drugs. Annual ‘adventure weeks’ aim to give young people the opportunity to experience group dynamics, conflict management, risk assessment, and a feeling of solidarity within a group of socially and culturally diverse people. The programme aims to reduce risk factors and enhance protection factors by focusing on the young people and their environment.
Recent developments include the launch of the CePT Toolbox to assist with the implementation of schoolbased prevention activities, and the publication of recommendations for educational professionals on how to tackle cannabis in the school environment. Training modules on how to communicate with young people about psychoactive substances in non-formal environments have been developed for professionals working with this group.
In 2015, an introductory course on prevention was run at the University of Luxembourg and the Police Academy; several training courses on psychoactive substances, and different methods and tools available for the prevention of dependencies were also held.
Selective prevention focuses on avoiding social exclusion and crisis interventions in schools, but activities are also carried out in recreational settings and with high-risk groups, such as polydrug users and those who show excessive use of alcoholic-mix drinks, and at-risk families. ‘Choice’ is an early intervention programme for juvenile first-time offenders. Since October 2014, Choice has been extended to young people up to 21 years of age. Selective prevention is carried out in recreational settings and events such as music festivals, art performances, adventure days, theatre, media materials, seminars, travelling exhibitions and travel experiences. MAG-Net Party operates information points that provide information, earplugs, condoms, soap, breath testing and drinking water in recreational settings to minimise health risks. In 2014, a new service, DrUg CheCKing (DUCK), was launched in the framework of MAG-Net Party activities, to check the quality of substances used in recreational settings with the primary preventative aim of gaining greater access to these consumer scenes. The Youth and Drug Help Foundation offers psychosocial help to drug-dependent parents and their children, and provides intervention to strengthen the parenting skills of drug-using mothers
With regard to indicated prevention, early detection is a priority for children exhibiting high-risk behaviour in school settings and at home, and further interventions are provided through psychiatric care services.
Provision of interventions in schools in Luxembourg (expert ratings)
NBYear of data 2015.