Drug Misuse Prevention - A Review

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


This report explores:

the factors that contribute to vulnerability;

general principles and specific approaches to prevention that are supported by the available evidence;

the need for the delivery of interventions to be embedded properly in the wider system and context if their potential is to be achieved.

Among the conclusions in the report, the ACMD found:

A sole focus on vulnerable ‘groups’ will limit the reach of prevention activities; rather, prevention should be targeted also at the risk factors, contexts, and behaviours that make individuals vulnerable. Strategies to reduce vulnerability must also target structural and social determinants of health, well-being and drug use.

Despite reasonably good evidence of ‘what works’, the UK lacks a functioning drug prevention system, with workforce competency a key failing in current provision.

There is no ‘silver bullet’ that will address the problems of vulnerability to drug use. Improving resilience will require significant, long-term public investment to rebuild prevention infrastructure and coordination of the whole range of services that can be harnessed proactively to increase the likelihood of healthy development of children and young people across a range of domains, including efforts to address inequalities, social capital, and social norms.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUK Govt Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs
Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2022


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