The need for indicated prevention

Indicated prevention focuses on individuals identified as having risk factors for drug problems, for instance attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). However, drug prevention measures aimed at young people with ADHD are reported only from Germany and Sweden. In Germany, current estimates of the prevalence of ADHD suggest that 2 % to 6 % of people between the ages of 6 and 18 years are affected, making it one of the most common chronic clinical pictures among children and young people. In Sweden, the preventative strategy for these children includes cognitive and social training, and methodologies are disseminated through training of prevention professionals. As almost all pre-school children are reached by primary healthcare and most children go to primary school, the majority of children at risk could be identified through systematic screening and subsequent individualised interventions.

The Italian Action Plan places a strong focus on psychopathological conditions and serious behavioural problems in children and adolescents which are predictive of drug use and misuse if ignored at an early stage. The problems identified include behavioural problems; hyperactivity and attention deficit; anxiety accompanied by mood disorders; bulimia and psychogenic obesity; personality disturbances; interpersonal communication problems; post-traumatic stress disorders; and panic attacks. Both universal and selective prevention approaches are foreseen as responses.