Czechia Country Drug Report 2019

Prevention

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports coordinates prevention activities in the school system in Czechia. 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. Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are widely involved in prevention activities and receive project-based funding that comes from subsidy proceedings at the national level, through the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports and the Government Council for Drug Policy Coordination.

Prevention interventions

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 substance use problems and indicated prevention focuses on at-risk individuals.

In Czechia, environmental prevention activities aim to reduce the availability of and access to tobacco and alcohol for those younger than 18 years. In May 2017, a new bill was approved implementing a general ban on smoking in pubs, bars and restaurants, as well as stronger measures aimed at reducing the availability of tobacco to minors.

Each elementary and secondary school is obliged to provide a Minimum Preventive Programme and to appoint a school prevention professional who is responsible for implementing it. Minimum Preventive Programmes address a broad range of risk behaviours, including social problems such as truancy, bullying, racism, xenophobia, hooliganism, crime and substance use.

Important to the Czech prevention system is its certification and accreditation system, which, since 2006, has verified the quality of primary risk prevention programmes undertaken by outside bodies in education. The system assesses the provider and its programme according to the quality criteria set by the approved standards before granting (or not) a certificate of fulfilment. The certification system for prevention is coordinated by the National Institute for Education (NÚV) certification.

Priority target audiences for selective prevention activities are children and adolescents at risk of substance use. 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. Some interventions to reduce the risk of drug use in recreational settings, such as clubs and music festivals, have also been implemented.

Indicated prevention programmes are rare and target mainly adolescents who experiment with psychoactive substances, and their families. In 2017, there were 90 pedagogical and psychological counselling centres in Czechia.

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Methodological note: Analysis of trends is based only on those countries providing sufficient data to describe changes over the period specified. The reader should also be aware that monitoring patterns and trends in a hidden and stigmatised behaviour like drug use is both practically and methodologically challenging. For this reason, multiple sources of data are used for the purposes of analysis in this report. Caution is therefore required in interpretation, in particular when countries are compared on any single measure. Detailed information on methodology and caveats and comments on the limitations in the information set available can be found in the EMCDDA Statistical Bulletin.