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Home | Key TopicsDrug Prevention

Drug Prevention

Drug prevention makes a central contribution to improving the health of the population
Every year, at least 110,000 people in Germany die prematurely as a consequence of smoking and another 40,000 of the consequences of harmful alcohol consumption, while roughly 1,300 deaths per year are the result of abusing illicit drugs. Target-oriented drug prevention, based on scientific findings, can make a significant contribution to improving the health of the population, reducing the cost to society and enhancing the quality of life.

In order to reduce the harm that goes hand-in-hand with substance abuse, addiction prevention must be a central element of a comprehensive addiction and drug policy, alongside addiction therapy and repression. Consequently, drug prevention was defined as an important element of comprehensive addiction work in Germany in the 1990 National Programme on Drug Abuse Control and in the Action Plan on Drugs and Addiction adopted in 2003.

Key objectives of modern drug prevention
In order to reduce the incidence of premature deaths, diseases and other problem situations (e.g. violence) in connection with harmful drug use, the priority goals of drug prevention activities include:

  • Avoidance and/or deferment of the start of consumption of legal and illicit drugs,
  • Early recognition and early intervention in cases of risky consumption patterns,
  • Reduction of abuse and addiction.

Drug prevention that systematically addresses the relevant target groups in their settings is particularly effective as regards achieving a health-promoting change in knowledge, attitudes and behaviour. The work of BZgA therefore gives priority to:

www.drugcom.de working aid for cannabis
This material for education work is designed to help you find practice-oriented answers to a frequently asked question: "How can my education work motivate young people to take a critical look at their own cannabis consumption?" The working aid for drugcom.de offers you information on this subject, as well as suggestions for practical exercises and games.

There, you will find ideas and suggestions on how you can use the www.drugcom.de website for cannabis prevention in the context of your work. It tells you how to arouse young people’s interest in using the computer and the Internet not only for games, but also for finding out about cannabis consumption, its effects and risks, or even being prompted to critically examine their own consumption patterns.

Download cannabis working aid (PDF document, 1.5 MB) (in German)

www.drugcom.de working aid for alcohol
The working aid for alcohol is intended to support you in your education work and help you find practice-oriented answers to a frequently asked question: "How can my education work motivate young people to take a critical look at their own alcohol consumption?" The working aid offers you information on this subject, as well as suggestions for practical exercises and games.

You are given suggestions regarding how you can integrate the www.drugcom.de website for alcohol prevention in your work. The working aid offers tips and suggestions on how you can arouse young people’s interest is using the computer and Internet offerings not only for games, but also as a way of obtaining information, so they can find out about alcohol consumption, its effects and risks, and also be prompted to critically examine their own consumption patterns.

Download alcohol working aid (PDF document, 1.5 MB) (in German)

JUPI - A drug prevention training programme
"Youth Prevention International" (JUPI) is a drug prevention training programme that provides basic knowledge and skills relating to the topic of legal and illicit drugs and prevention. The training programme targets young people who demonstrate commitment, e.g. through voluntary activity in youth association and club work. JUPI offers compact knowledge for volunteers who work with young people, but (so far) have few or no professional skills relating to drug prevention in youth work. This programme concisely compiles all the necessary information, reflection notes, case reports, practical tips and concrete behavioural suggestions, as well as numerous references and internal links, offering expedient assistance for day-to-day youth work.

The "JUPI" programme is unfortunately no longer available on CD-ROM.

Download the "JUPI" programme: (WARNING: 87 MB!) (in German)

As a ZIP file
As a self-extracting .exe file

Guideline "Living at Night - Health-Promoting Measures in Nightlife"
The Guideline "Living at Night - Health-Promoting Measures in Nightlife" was published by the "Healthy Nightlife" Working Group in 2005.
Initiated by BZgA in 2003, the "Healthy Nightlife" Working Group for networking players in the leisure sector consisted of representatives of drug counselling centres, scene initiatives, the office of the Drug Commissioner, BZgA, municipal authorities and party organisers. The Guideline "Living at Night - Health-Promoting Measures in Nightlife" targets key institutions and players wishing to promote risk-minimising strategies in nightlife. It is designed as a working tool and is intended to support the implementation of optimum drug prevention measures, particularly cooperation projects for realising health-promoting measures in nightlife.

Download Guideline "Living at Night" (PDF document, 3.26 MB) (in German)

Concept of the "NA TOLL!" youth campaign for alcohol prevention
Alcohol consumption is not only an integral element of our society, but also a serious risk factor as regards health. It is precisely for this reason that it is important for young people to know about the risks of excessive alcohol consumption and to learn how to use alcohol in moderation. With "NA TOLL!" (OH, GREAT!"), BZgA has created a youth campaign that aims to inform young people on the subject of alcohol, encourage a self-critical attitude to alcohol consumption and, where appropriate, support a change in harmful consumption patterns. The documentation provided here is intended to present the conceptual foundations and the methodological realisation of the "NA TOLL!" youth campaign.

Download concept of the "NA TOLL!" youth campaign (PDF document, 800 kB) (in German)

Internet Offerings

The "rauchfrei" ("smoke-free") campaign is geared to preventing people from starting smoking, to protecting people from passive smoking, and to supporting smokers in quitting. The website at www.rauchfrei-info.de primarily targets adults and offers a wide range of information on the subject of "smoking/not smoking". In addition to the information offering, the website also includes a programme for giving up smoking that provides help with quitting smoking by means of individualised feedback by e-mail over a period of four weeks.

www.rauch-frei.info is an Internet offering that particularly informs young people about the effects, risks and subsequent health damage associated with smoking. The website for young people on the subject of "not smoking" essentially comprises the elements "information", "communication" (Rauchfrei Community) and the "individualised cessation programme".

Drugcom.de is a low-threshold Internet project that addresses young people with an affinity for drugs via the leisure sector. The aim is to promote communication with young people who have already had experience with drugs. Internet-based, anonymous information and counselling options are intended to help encourage young drug users to critically examine their own drug use and possibly modify it.

spielen-mit-verantwortung.de is an extensive information and help portal dealing with addiction to gambling. The site provides specific information regarding the potential hazard posed by the various forms of gambling, the development of a gambling addiction and its consequences for the affected persons and their relatives. There is additionally a chance to test your own gaming behaviour, visit an online cessation programme, and find out about help organisations in the vicinity.

check-dein-spiel.de offers affected persons, relatives and other interested parties information on the subject of gambling and addiction to gambling. In addition, there is a self-test people who gamble and wonder whether their playing habits are (still) OK. In the "Counselling" section, you can find information on which organisations offer counselling and support in connection with an addiction to gambling.

Alkohol? Kenn dein Limit. (“Alcohol? Know your limits.”)
The aim of the "Alkohol? Kenn dein Limit. " campaign is to make the public aware of the negative consequences of excessive alcohol consumption and prevent the development of risky drinking patterns. The campaign is divided into two main fields, its specific measures and offerings being addressed to adults on the one hand and to young people between the ages of 16 and 20 on the other.

The website at www.kenn-dein-limit.de is directed specifically at adults and contains important information on the subject of handling alcohol responsibly. In addition to extensive information on alcohol-related threats to health and other risks there is, for example a test that enables users to rate their own alcohol consumption and check their knowledge on the subject of alcohol.

The Internet offer at www.kenn-dein-limit.info targets young people aged 16-20 years. It gives broad information on the health risks of alcohol consumption for adolescents, particularly those resulting from binge drinking and regular high consumption. The site gives advice on how to deal with peer pressure and how to stay within the limit when you have a drink. The site comprises interactive tools as for example the alcohol body map, the alcohol unit calculator and the “check-your-drinking-test”. It also offers the campaign’s video clip, regularly updated news and the possibility to order the campaign posters.

NA TOLL! The campaign aims to encourage young people to examine their own consumption of alcoholic drinks. Among other things, the site offers information on the effect of alcohol on the body, a knowledge test on the subject of alcohol, and recipes for alcohol-free cocktails.

Make children strong aims to equip children and young people, as well as adult contact persons, with biopsychosocial skills that enable an addiction-free life. This campaign, which currently focuses on the leisure and sports sector, is implemented in close collaboration with the leading popular-sport associations, as well as youth welfare and drug prevention organisations.

The PrevNet network is a cooperation project of the Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA) and the Land Drug Prevention Coordinators from 12 Federal Länder (Hamburg, Brandenburg, Bremen, Lower Saxony, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Berlin, North Rhine-Westphalia, Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland, Saxony, Bavaria). The portal presents drug prevention measures of the Federal Government and the Federal Länder, and networks professionals in the field. Existing information on drug prevention institutions, activities, players, studies and materials is made available in pooled form. A professional exchange and cooperation between experts across the Länder borders are made possible through the interactive part of the portal, with forums, mailing lists and the Working Group area with the functions of a virtual office.

The fourth round of the nationwide competition entitled "Model Strategies of Municipal Drug Prevention" has started. All German towns and cities, rural districts and communities have been invited to submit their entries for the competition on the subject of "Local Drug Prevention for Children and Young People" by 15 January 2009. The competition is organised by the Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA) and the Federal Government’s Drug Commissioner, Sabine Bätzing, with the support of the local authority associations and the head associations of the health insurance funds. The prize money totals € 70,000.