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FAMILY

 

Since 1997 IREFREA has been dedicated to the study of family prevention and family interventions related to alcohol and drug use as one of its core research areas. Through a broad perspective covering a preventive and cultural point of view, IREFREA has produced valuable data showing that families are key determinants in the use and/or abuse of substances.

In 1998, during the development of the project FARPA: Substance Use – Family, Risk and Protective Factors during Adolescence, a survey questionnaire and subsequent field work were design to explore risk and protective factors related to substance use during adolescence. The general aim of this research was to gather theoretical and empirical evidence that could contribute to a better planning on family prevention and interventions. The study allowed the identification of a constant risk factor common to all samples and almost always associated with substance use: precarious parental skills when setting limits and controlling anti-social behaviours during childhood (assessed by PRAS-DASB). Evidence also showed that preventive programmes and interventions where most effective when targeting families whose children have not yet reached adolescence.

Since then IREFREA members have participated in several projects in this field. Among them, the study Family: the challenge of prevention of drug use (2001) reviewed family interventions and programmes across five European countries. A survey and an analysis of the programmes and proposed activities were conducted to check effectiveness. Evidence-based family skills training programmes have been found to be the most effective in substance use prevention. These programmes target the whole family and offer skills-building for parents on supervision of children activities, communication and setting age appropriate limits.

Copy of the produced books Family: the challenge of prevention of drug use and Family relationships and primary prevention of drug use in early adolescence can be downloaded from the publications section of this site. Also available is the Guide to implementing family skills training programmes for drug abuse prevention, published by the UNODC (2009) with IREFREA’s participation.

At this point and time IREFREA coordinates the project EFE – European Family Empowerment: Improving family skills to prevent alcohol and drug related problems, with the financial support from the Drug Prevention and Information Programme of the European Union.


 

 

 

 

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