Preventing later substance use disorders in at-risk children and adolescents


This review on indicated prevention adds to the current knowledge and understanding of risk factors in the development of later drug problems and dependence, focusing on the mental health and behavioural problems that develop during childhood. Indicated prevention is a relatively new branch of drug prevention and can be seen as the third part of the ‘prevention chain’, after universal and selective prevention. Its aim is not necessarily to prevent drug use or initiation to it, but rather to prevent the development of dependence, diminish frequency of use and avert ‘dangerous’ patterns of substance use (e.g. moderate instead of binge-drinking).

Note: Italian version was translated and produced by ASL Milano

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Table of contents

  • Principles of indicated prevention
  • Risk and protective factors in the development of substance use and substance use disorder
  • Guidelines and standards for the assessment and treatment of psychiatric risk conditions for adolescent substance abuse
  • Strategies and programmes in indicated prevention
  • Ethical issues
  • Conclusions and recommendations