A review of regional drug strategies across the world: How is prevention perceived and addressed?

Marica Ferri, Danilo Ballotta, Giuseppe Carrá, Sonia Dias

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Regional drug strategies and action plans are intergovernmental policy documents that address drug-related problems. This article analyses six of these strategies, involving 148 countries in four continents. We focus in particular on how the prevention of drug-related problems is described, and if a comprehensive approach (such as environmental prevention) is used. All the documents include prevention as one of their key priorities, and three of them provide a comprehensive framework for preventive strategies that incorporates environmental interventions. The European Union drugs strategy explicitly mentions environmental prevention intervention as one of the mutually reinforcing measures for drug demand reduction. Several factors could benefit from wider adoption of an environmental prevention approach. Two of these, both prominent issues, are: the need to promote integration and synergy in efforts to reduce peoples exposure to illicit drugs and the demand for drugs; and the change in the legal status of some traditionally illicit drugs that is occurring in some regions. In terms of the new legal status of some drugs, while it is not yet clear what the possible effects are of the availability and prevalence of use of those substances, prevention is expected to remain an important strategy. The "global strategies" approach can be an important endorsement in achieving wide recognition and the adoption of environmental prevention strategies in drug policy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)444-448
Number of pages5
JournalDrugs: Education, Prevention and Policy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sep 2015


  • Addiction
  • policy
  • prevention


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