In Romania, prevention activities are based on the guiding principles outlined in the National Anti-Drug Strategy 2013-20 and the corresponding Action Plans for 2013-16 and 2017-20. Activities in this field are coordinated by the National Anti-Drug Agency (NAA) and are primarily implemented by the Ministry of Education and Scientific Research and the NAA’s territorial network of 47 drug prevention, evaluation and counselling centres, in cooperation with other governmental bodies. Non-governmental organisations are key partners in the implementation of projects at the local level.
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.
The objective of prevention programmes, projects and interventions in Romania is to inform, educate and raise awareness among the general population, the school population and vulnerable groups on the effects of alcohol, tobacco, drugs and new psychoactive substances. In addition, prevention in Romania seeks to develop attitudes and practices among these segments of the population by directing them to recreational activities that are socially desirable, as an alternative to drug use. Some evidence-based programmes are emerging.
Family prevention initiatives have mainly been implemented at the local level and aim to increase parents’ awareness of substance use risks and strengthen the protective role of the family; participation in these activities remains low, but the number of projects in this field is constantly increasing. Community-based prevention is mainly oriented towards the provision of information about licit and illicit substances through different campaigns.
Selective prevention is targeted at young people in recreational and festival settings, Roma groups, the prison population, people who have used drugs in the past, victims of family violence and young adults leaving care. The EU-wide project ‘FreD goes net’ — an ‘early intervention’ project aimed at young people who have come to the attention of the police, their work or their school because of drug use — has been rolled out nationwide in collaboration with drug prevention, evaluation and counselling centres. During the school year 2017-18, the project covered an estimated 2 500 students (aged 14-19 years).
Indicated prevention interventions are unusual in Romania, but there are some brief intervention offers.