Drug prevention activities in Sweden are a key element of the ANDT for 2016-20. The Public Health Agency of Sweden and the National Board of Health and Welfare are central agencies that support the implementation of prevention activities at the local and regional levels, while the regional governments are responsible for drug prevention at the regional level. All 21 counties have a county coordinator to synchronise and promote evidencebased prevention measures at a regional and local level, and in 2015 a total of 16 counties had substance use prevention strategies in place. Municipalities also bear the main responsibility for the implementation of prevention measures. Approximately 88 % of municipalities have now appointed a full-time or part-time drug coordinator for illicit drug prevention work at the community level, and a key component in preventive work is the support of municipality management.
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.
School-based prevention interventions play an important role in municipalities and schools, and they are mainly implemented in the context of promoting a healthy school environment; they cover both licit and illicit substances. Several interventions focus on the development of children’s social and emotional capacity, and many schools also have in place interventions that involve parents.
A number of community-based programmes at the municipal level focus on providing alternative leisure activities and ensuring safe recreational settings, primarily in cooperation with sports organisations, the temperance movement, police and other community-based organisations.
The number of programmes for parents about alcohol and drugs has increased, as has the amount of research done on them. The International Child Development Programme, Komet and COPE have been implemented in approximately one quarter of municipalities. The Örebro programme has been implemented in several versions, among them Effekt, which has also been implemented in Slovenia, Estonia and — in an adapted version — the Netherlands.
Selective prevention activities mainly include early detection programmes for individuals suspected of drug abuse (young people, drivers and people suspected of minor offences) and programmes for children whose parents are dependent on alcohol or drugs, have mental health problems or are violent. Komet for Parents, a well-researched prevention programme for parents with children aged 3-18 years with externalising behaviour problems, has shown a positive effect on the children’s behaviour and the parents’ parenting skills.
In recent years, an increasing number of recreational settings, such as clubs and restaurants, have adopted environmental prevention measures, such as norm-setting among staff and the use of controlling approaches that limit drug-intoxicated clients’ access to the setting.
Prevention of cannabis use among young people is one of the focuses of the recent national strategy. Between 2012 and 2015, additional funding was allocated to special projects, training and networking in this area.
Provision of interventions in schools in Sweden (expert ratings)
NBYear of data 2015.