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Drugs Prevention Initiative  


The Drugs Prevention Initiative (DPI) was established by the UK Government in 1990 to demonstrate, evaluate and promote community based approaches to drugs prevention. Since this time, DPI teams have engaged with a wide range of groups and agencies to ensure that prevention is fully integrated into local drugs strategies and programmes and to demonstrate what communities can do to reduce drugs misuse.

Phase II of the DPIís work began in 1995 and will end in March 1999. It saw 12 local drugs prevention teams develop and evaluate a corporate programme of community based approaches to drugs prevention. These were designed to identify which approaches worked best in terms of their impact on young peopleís knowledge, attitudes and behaviour in relation to drugs misuse. The approaches took place in a variety of settings and included not only programmes aimed at the majority of young people, but also schemes which target parents as well as those who may be at higher risk of drug misuse;such as children who have been excluded from school, those who are being looked after by local authorities and young offenders. The teamsí programme of work has been co-ordinated by the Central Drugs Prevention Unit in the Home Office and evaluated by independent researchers. More information about the local drugs prevention teams and their programme of work is set out in the DPIís annual progress report for 1996-7 and the DPIís Programme of Work. For information on how to obtain copies of these publications, please click here .

The Governmentís 10 year anti-drugs strategy Tackling Drugs to Build a Better Britain launched in April 1998 recognises the importance of drugs prevention and all Drug Action Teams (DATs) are required to address prevention in their action plans. The DPI findings will help inform the decisions and work of DATs, practitioners and local communities when addressing drugs prevention. To this end, in October 1998 the DPI published guidance for Drug Action Teams in two documents Developing Local Drugs Prevention Strategies  and Guidance on Good Practice  which set out advice on developing local drugs prevention strategies and guidance on good practice based on the emerging learning from the Initiative and from other research.

The detailed research findings from the Initiative are being published in a series of DPI Papers. Some have already been published and more will be published during 1998/99. A short digest, Drugs Prevention Research Briefing , will accompany some more recently published reports. To see copies of DPI reports published to date and order information, please click here.

From 1 April 1999, the DPI will be replaced by the Drugs Prevention Advisory Service (DPAS) which will comprise nine larger, regional teams covering the whole of England. The role of DPAS will be to encourage and support good practice in drugs prevention at a local and national level. More information about DPAS can be found in the DPI paper Developing Local Drugs Prevention Strategies .

Home Office
Central Drugs Prevention Unit
Horseferry House
Dean Ryle Street
Telephone: 0171 217 8631
Fax:          0171 217 8230


Drug Prevention Initiative publications

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