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J. Martinez-Raga1, L. Moreno Royo2, J. Torres Pujol3, A. Magan Garrido4, J. Torres Merino5

1Universidad CEU Cardenal Herrera y Agencia Valenciana de Salut (SPAIN)
2Universidad CEU Cardenal Herrera (SPAIN)
3Universidad CEU Cardenal Herrera y Colegio Oficial de Farmacéuticos de Albacete (SPAIN)
4IES Bonifacio Sotos de Casas Ibáñez (Albacete) (SPAIN)
5Colegio Oficial de Farmacéuticos de Albacete (SPAIN)
Substance abuse is a major public health and social concern. Particularly adolescents and younger people are vulnerable to changes in lifestyle that incite them to try drugs. In the rural areas, this problem is increasing every year.

The drug abuse prevention programme herewith present was set up within a collaborative framework of the School of Pharmacy of the University Cardenal Herrera – CEU in Moncada (Valencia) and the Addictive Behaviors Unit in Gandía (Valencia) to involve community pharmacists in substance abuse prevention. Specifically, in the present study a community pharmacist (JTP) is leading a 4-year school based multifactorial substance abuse in the rural area of La Manchuela, within the provinces of Albacete and Cuenca (Spain).The prevention programme is aimed at providing a long-term and measurable substance use prevention for young people through 4 years of study. An additional objective is to support students in problems and doubts arising along this study, by providing them with easy access via e-mail and other means with the study coordinator. All ten secondary schools in the Area La Manchuela have been invited to participate. Schools were randomly assigned to a control group or to one of three intervention groups with different levels of intervention, receiving either a yearly customized prevention talk, or a additional parents group, or finally a more intensive group receiving individual support at their local community pharmacist, as well.

At baseline and at yearly follow-ups, students completed the Spanish version of the WHO Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test (ASSIST) V3.0 WHO ASSIST (V3.0), an instrument designed to screen for problem or risky use of tobacco, alcohol, cannabis, cocaine, amphetamine-type stimulants, sedatives, hallucinogens, inhalants, opioids and ‘other drugs’.

The sample included all 893 students registered at First Year of ESO (First year of Mandatory Secundary Education, children aged 12-13 years old). The study has a 4-year duration, so that that students are followed-up until they complete the fourth year of ESO (aged 16-17 years old). Ninety per cent of the students (804) provided informed consent of their parents to participate in the programme. Questionnaires are administered to determine the level of consumption in order to evaluate the changes over time during the 4-years of the study. This programme will provide unique information on estimates of problem and risky substance use in large geographical rural area of Spain, as well as on the elements that may show to be useful in this school-based prevention that could be implemented in other similar initiatives.

[1] Becoña E. Bases científicas de la prevención de las drogodependencias. Plan Nacional Sobre Drogas. 2002.
[2] Observatorio de drododependencias de Castilla – La Mancha. Investigación básica y clínica en drogodependencias. Número 3. 2008.
[3] Prevention of psychoactive substance use. World Health Organization. 2002.