Preventive guide for the evaluation of local addiction prevention plans.



David Pere Martínez Oró

Commissioned by:

Servicio de Atención a la Dependencia y Vulnerabilidad Social del Área de Igualdad y Sostenibilidad Social de la Diputación de Barcelona

General objective. To offer a set of tools and knowledge that help to prove that preventive actions implemented in the local reality cause preventive effects.

Summary. The “Practical guide for the evaluation of local addiction prevention plans” is a tool that responds to the need to improve the evaluation processes of local addiction prevention plans. The Service of Attention to Dependency and Social Vulnerability of the Department of Equality and Social Sustainability of the Diputació de Barcelona has first-hand knowledge of the difficulties experienced by local authorities in terms of evaluation, having found that most professionals perceive evaluation as a complex and difficult process that requires specialized knowledge. The guide is working to change this negative perception in order to make evaluation a relatively easy and enriching process that will enable the implementation of quality preventive actions. The preventive offer at the quantitative level is extraordinary. However, we still do not know the preventive quality of the vast majority of programs because it is difficult to answer, based on solid evidence, the question: is the prevention we carry out really preventive? In almost all preventive actions the answer is “we don’t know” because it is impossible to know how much we have reduced the impact of risk factors among the target population and how we have increased the protective factors. The lack of response is largely due to the fact that drug dependence prevention is framed within the traditional perspective of social intervention. A perspective focused on articulating a large number of actions, but for various reasons, we do not know to what extent the preventive activity produces the desired effects. Living with the question of whether prevention is preventive places us in a position of vulnerability for two reasons:

  • The first, because we allocate public money to actions that, perhaps, do not achieve the preventive effects that justify the expenditure of the treasury.
  • Secondly, because not knowing the nature of the effects may mean that we implement preventive actions with iatrogenic effects, i.e., we cause effects contrary to those desired.

We have an adequate amount of prevention. This guide is the tool for accrediting quality.