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Drugnet Europe News from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction — April–June 2007

Expert meeting on indicated prevention

Specialists and programme developers in the field of indicated prevention met in Lisbon from 3–4 March to explore the practical implications of risk factor research. Indicated prevention aims to identify individuals who are exhibiting early signs of substance use, or preceding problem behaviours (risk factors), and to target them with special interventions (1).

picture of child suggestive of problem behaviour

Although a relatively new field, it is one which is stimulating growing interest. Yet associated professionals, such as prevention workers, teachers and paediatricians, still know little about its theoretical foundations and the evidence base remains uncharted.

At the meeting, the EMCDDA and the University of Ulm (2) presented the findings of a forthcoming online literature review on indicated prevention (see p. 7). The review, compiled in 2007, aims to boost knowledge on the state-of-the-art of indicated prevention in the EU and to improve data collection for evaluating the EU drugs action plan (2005–08; targets 7 and 10) (3).

The meeting also allowed for discussion on the ways ahead in indicated prevention research, such as applying new neurobiological knowledge and better integrating the various sectors involved. Finally, examples of programmes that have had significant effects on reducing substance use, as well as on depression, delinquency and truancy in diverse settings (schools, hospital emergency rooms), were presented by participants from Germany, Spain, the Netherlands and the UK.

Gregor Burkhart

(1) More information is available on the indicated prevention page of the EMCDDA website, as well as in Drugnet Europe No 58.

(2) Contractor: The University of Ulm, Germany (Klinik für Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie). (3) Target 7: Improve coverage of, access to and effectiveness of drug-demand-reduction measures. Target 10: Improve methods for early detection of risk factors and early intervention. Further reading: http://ec.europa.eu/research/infocentre/article_en.cfm?id=/research/headlines/news/article_08_04_10_en.html&item=Infocentre&artid=6973

Drugnet Europe is the EMCDDA's newsletter launched in September 1996. The newsletter provides regular and succint information on the Centre's projects and activities to a broad readership.

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