UNODC/WHO International Standards on Drug Use Prevention
Second updated edition



Prevention strategies based on scientific evidence working with families, schools, and communities can ensure that children and youth, especially the most marginalized and poor, grow and stay healthy and safe into adulthood and old age. For every dollar spent on prevention, at least ten can be saved in future health, social and crime costs.

This is the second updated edition of the Standards and has been published jointly with the World Health Organisation. As in the case of the first edition, the Standards summarize the currently available scientific evidence, describing interventions and policies that have been found to result in positive prevention outcomes and their characteristics. Concurrently, the document identifies the major components and features of an effective national drug prevention system. It is our hope that the Standards will assist policy makers worldwide to develop programmes, policies and systems that are a truly effective investment in the future of children, youth, families and communities. This work builds on and recognizes the work of many other organizations (e.g. EMCDDA, CCSA, CICAD, Mentor, NIDA, WHO) which have previously developed standards and guidelines on various aspects of drug prevention.

The Standards have been recognized by Member States as a useful tool to promote evidence-based prevention in the following documents:

In addition to ArabicEnglish, the Standards are available in the following non-official languages: Bahasa, Italiano, Slovenian


Last updated 29 September 2020

[1] For a working definition of 'intervention', the related term 'programme', as well as 'policy', please see Annex I.