Leading international experts in prevention research will meet in Lisbon from 8–9 December to examine the influence of social and economic environments on substance use. Over 100 participants from some 20 countries will gather at the 2nd International Conference of the European Society for Prevention Research (EUSPR), hosted by the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) (1).
The EUSPR is a non-profit organisation working to enhance the evidence base on drug prevention in Europe. Among its aims are improving the quality of prevention education and research and promoting the active dissemination of research results. Established in December 2010, the society is based at the Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology in Warsaw. The EMCDDA supported its creation (2).
‘Changing health-related behaviour requires comprehensive and joined-up strategies’, says EMCDDA Director Wolfgang Götz. ‘We know that there is no simple solution to preventing drug use and that we need a broad spectrum of interventions that can target groups, individuals and the very environments in which people make choices about drug use’.
Entitled ‘Synergy in prevention and health promotion: individual, community and environmental approaches’, the conference will look at the range of prevention approaches employed today (universal, selective, indicated, environmental) (3). It will focus in particular on current knowledge regarding environmental interventions and how they are evaluated.
Environmental prevention strategies are those which impact on societies and aim to alter the immediate cultural, social, physical and economic environments in which people make choices about substance use. These can include publicity bans, age controls, tobacco bans, taxation or creating positive school climates.
During the conference proceedings the EMCDDA will launch on 9 December the European drug prevention quality standards, setting out the first European framework on how to conduct high-quality prevention (4).
The conference will be preceded on 7 December by a workshop on ‘Smoking in movies: state of evidence and policy options’. This will present the findings of the largest study to date on the issue of smoking in film and its link to smoking initiation (5). Co-funded by the European Commission, this study was conducted in six European countries (Germany, Iceland, Italy, Poland, the Netherlands and the UK). Its results will be published in the December issue of the journal Tobacco control.
The event will take place at the Conference Centre in Cais do Sodré. Journalists may attend the session launching the European drug prevention quality standards on 9 December at 12 noon.