Drugs: education and prevention


This is the abstract of a Report by the French National Academy of Medicine
Session of November 7, 2023*

Drugs of abuse: education and prevention

Jean-Pierre GOULLÉ, Michel HAMON (Rapporteurs) and Jean-Jacques HAUW, Jean-Marc LÉGER, on behalf of the working group attached to Commission IV (Mental Health – Neurosciences – Addictions).

Consumption of legal and illegal drugs of abuse causes the death of about 130 000 people each year in France, to which are added huge social and health expenses for our country. The direct annual cost for public finances reaches 22.1 billion euros, corresponding to up to 1% of GDP.
The high level of drugs use by French people at adult age is explained by the fact that
consumption begins at excessively early age and progressively increases throughout lifetime as shown by convergent prevalence studies. Although recent surveys show some decrease in drugs testing/experimentation frequency at adolescence, drugs consumption remains at high level and is still a major public health problem that requires appropriate responses.                                                                                                              Actually, adolescence is an especially vulnerable period for addictions because neuropsychological maturity is not achieved yet. Numerous parameters, notably genetic and environment factors associated with psychic vulnerability and personality traits, may contribute to promote transition from drug testing to addiction. As a whole, drugs consumption at adolescence is likely to induce numerous health disorders.                        For prevention, it is essential to deliver a specific education aimed at alerting against the deleterious consequences of drugs consumption as soon as the school age and to
proceed with appropriate training programs all along the education up to university. Systemic actions must also be implemented to improve the training of health professionals concerned by drugs issues as well as the necessary coordination of the relevant ministry departments.                                                                                                                The French National Academy of Medicine makes recommendations to improve and possibly solve these important issues.

Key words: Drugs of abuse; Tobacco; Alcohol; Cannabis; Education


(*) The full report, 24 pages in French, on:
https://www.academie-medecine.fr/wp-content/uploads/2023/11/RAPPORT-Drogues-prevention-education.pdf                                                                                                                                                               oOo

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Foundation for a Drug-Free Europe was formed in March 2004 with the firm purpose of preventing and stopping debilitating drug use through educating non-users concerning the harmful effects that drugs can inflict upon the body, mind and personality, and by finding and directing existing users to programmes that can help them achieve comfortable abstinence for life.

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