Drug Prevention, Treatment and Care

Drug abuse prevention and drug use prevention is a process that attempts to prevent the onset of substance use or limit the development of problems associated with using psychoactive substances. Prevention efforts may focus on the individual or their surroundings. A concept known as “environmental prevention” focuses on changing community conditions or policies so that the availability of substances is reduced as well as the demand. drug prevention programs are a valuable and cost effective approach to preventing and reducing the incidence of harmful drug use. Drug prevention is an important part of government strategies to reduce drug-related harm. There is a need for a comprehensive approach to drug prevention, underpinned by sound research and evaluation of programs. Drug use prevention programmes are effective when they respond to the needs of a community, involve all the relevant sectors and are based on evidence; effective programmes should also incorporate strong monitoring and evaluation components. Such programmes are also cost effective. It has been shown that, for every dollar spent, good programmes for the prevention of drug use among youth can save up to 9 dollars! If other costs to society were to be counted, such as the costs resulting from crime, unemployment and ill-health, the cost effectiveness of good drug use prevention programmes is likely to be even greater.

Drug dependence treatment should become a part of the mainstream health care and social welfare system, without discrimination with respect to other chronic general and mental health disorders. Improving the quality of drug dependence treatment can be reached through the cooperation, information exchange. Drug dependence can often be treated effectively with low-cost medications and simple psychological interventions. Treatment of drug dependence can be integrated into primary health care. For $US 1 invested in evidence-based treatment, up to $US 6 are saved in terms of costs for health, security and welfare.

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