The Objective

Mission: To promote Drug Demand Reduction strategies based on scientific evidence working with families, schools, and communities in Africa

WHAT ARE EVIDENCE-BASED INTERVENTIONS?

Evidence-Based interventions and policies are best practices that have been found to be efficacious or effective by the scientific evidence in preventing substance use and could serve as the foundation of an effective health-centered national substance use prevention system, addiction treatment, and Recovery Support Services.

The primary objective of substance use prevention is to help people, particularly young people, avoid or delay the initiation of the use of psychoactive substances, or, if they have started already, to avoid the development of disorders (e.g. dependence)

The general aim of substance use prevention is much broader, the healthy and safe development of children and youth to realize their potential and become contributing members of their community and society.

WHY IMPLEMENT EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICES?  

It gives our target groups the best available interventions, techniques, and policies.  Because of their extensive research, they are generally more effective and efficient.

Having the research gives a rational basis on which policy decisions can be made.

The choice of evidence-based programming provides a common language to use across communities and provides a common concept for evaluation of newly available scientific research.

It forms a new basis for education and training, such as the UPC Series, allowing for more uniformity in service delivery and of identifying where there are gaps or missing information in both research and practice.

Based on the Standards document, evidence-based prevention interventions and policies are categorized as follows:

  • Age-related developmental periods—These describe the audience for whom the intervention is designed – that is, infancy and early childhood, middle childhood, early adolescence, and adolescence and adulthood
  • Setting in which the intervention or policy is implemented—family, school, workplace, or community
  • Target population—A description of the risk status of the audience for the intervention:
    • Universal Intervention or Policy addresses situations when the risks of the target group are unknown and may include individuals at low risk as well as those at high risk
    • Selective Interventions or Policies are used in those situations when risk is known and the risk status is used to identify groups such as children of substance users, children in poverty, children impacted by war or natural disasters
    • Indicated Interventions or Policies are used with individuals who may have already used drugs but do not yet meet diagnostic criteria for dependence—as a prevention target, your goal is to intervene to prevent progression to further substance use.