Creation and Implementation of Effective Prevention Programmes Based on Research Results
In this issue, we have prepared for you the further interesting research studies on the topic of addiction prevention as well as its negative effects. These research studies draw attention to the need for continuous investigation of the risk factors that can activate the emergence of addictions or deepen them. An important component is the socio-demographic characteristics influencing the development of prevention programmes. Globalisation of the environment, changes in the demographic structures of the population, the effects of economic and social changes also bring changes in the lifestyles of individuals and create prerequisites for the emergence of new possibilities of meeting known as well as unknown addictive substances.
The use of addictive substances can also have an impact on suicides that are currently a serious worldwide phenomenon. Patient suicide with substance use disorder is a serious public health problem. This is also pointed out by the first study in this issue, which the authors found a positive relationship between depression and the risk of suicide in. The study is a strong appeal for the implementation of standardised risk assessments and initiates further research focused on the epidemiology of suicide and risk factors.
In the second study, the authors draw attention to the need to investigate locations where individuals may encounter addictive substances. While some individuals reach for addictive substances in a case of the serious life or personal problems, others use them as a part of social events, festivals, when meeting for fun, and so on. In this environment of nightclubs, festivals and other events, addiction can develop very quickly, as individuals at the given event see examples all around them. Thus, drugs become a tolerated and necessary part of night entertainment. In the given study, the authors draw attention to the fact that many participants of night entertainment and activities have a very low level of knowledge about the risks associated with alcohol consumption. Therefore, the authors appeal to the importance of creating and using strategies to increase the awareness of people using drugs in the nightlife environment.
From a point of view of creating high-quality and effective prevention programmes, the study of people’s risky behaviour is important in all age categories. This is also confirmed by the authors in another study, which they examine the relationships between the self-schema, specifically the physical proportions represented by BMI, and risk behaviour in. The authors identified the differences in the risk behaviour in a relation to gender, age, as well as in several investigated areas. Substance abuse can cause severe mental illness, so studying the causal link between substance abuse and persistent illness creates another vast area of research. The authors in another published study assessed nature and course of depressive features among male patients with alcohol dependence. The authors make recommendations for clinicians based on the findings that reducing alcohol dependence leads to a decrease of the depressive symptoms.
Although substance abuse prevention interventions and policies are heavily debated, it is important to research, analyse, and to evaluate the different forms of the prevention activities. International collaboration and sharing of the so-called best practices play a decisive role in the process of the active prevention programmes. These facts are also reflected in another study that is focused on the investigation and online evaluation called Pilot Course on Monitoring and Evaluation of Substance Use Prevention Interventions and Policies.
The pandemic caused by Covid-19 created an area for the implementation of online activities in various social and educational spheres and pointed to many benefits of online processes. However, even these processes have to represent a living mechanism and ways that have to improve them so that the effect from online courses is as high as possible. The authors were aware of the need to investigate the effectiveness of online courses for prevention programs and in their conclusions provided a holistic quantitative and qualitative assessment of the essential aspects of the transformed virtual course on evaluating and monitoring substance use prevention interventions. It also identified aspects of the course that need further improvement and enhancement. Hence, this study brings the very valuable findings for the policymakers of the regional and national policies in the field of public health.
In addition to the active prevention programmes, the so-called persuasive messages that should support taking away from the use of addictive substances. These aspects were investigated by the authors of the penultimate study, whose aim was to examine the Influence of Persuasive Messages to Quit Smoking by the Media Advertisements. The authors assumed that messages would significantly reduce smoking frequency. The influence of the messages on smoking intention, negative emotions, perceived self-efficacy, and health behaviour were also measured. The results of the study yielded the valuable findings for the advertising agencies. It will be important to examine these messages also within the different age categories, as well as within the different types of addictive substances. This brings up an area for further research in this field.
In addition to the risk factors investigated so far, as well as risk environments for the emergence and development of addiction, it is also very interesting to investigate other aspects, such as impulsiveness. The authors of the last study bring interesting theoretical as well as research knowledge from this field and point to the growing importance of investigating the impulsivity and impulsive behaviour of adolescents. Adolescence is considered one of the most important stages in human life and therefore, it is necessary to investigate known as well as lesserknown influences on adolescents. The results of the study will make it possible to understand the importance of research in the field of impulsivity and thus help in the prevention of impulsive behaviour.
We believe that all these topics will bring readers many interesting insights into the development and prevention of addictions, as well as they stimulate many researchers and their research teams to initiate research in this area and to share their results.
Many research studies also support intensive collaboration with the healthcare facilities as well as clinical specialists, which we thank them very much in this way for. Implementation of science for practice is the most effective way to implement an active policy in the field of health.
Košice, 30 September 2022
Professor Beáta Gavurová, PhD, MBA
Executive Editor of Addictology
beata [dot] gavurova [at] lf1 [dot] cuni [dot] cz