International Focused Events

International Networking Forum

Date:  Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Location: Bayview B

Meet and Greet: 12:45 pm – 1:00 pm

Forum: 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm

The International Networking Forum is designed to bring together colleagues who are working in the international arena on prevention science research, programs, and policies.  This is an interactive forum and it is not a workshop nor a didactic session; rather it is an effort to foster international collaboration in pursuit of promoting prevention science world-wide.  Participation is key to the forum.  The forum is sponsored by the International Task Force and each year, projects are addressed that will further the underlying goal of supporting and networking colleagues who work in the international arena. Click here for the full agenda.

NIDA International Poster Session and Reception

Date: Tuesday, May 28, 2019
Time: 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Location: Pacific D/L

The International Program and Division of Epidemiology, Services and Prevention Research (DESPR) of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) will host the 12th Annual NIDA International SPR Poster Session. The poster session will take place in conjunction with the SPR Tuesday Evening Poster Session and Opening Reception. Posters will highlight drug and/or alcohol use prevention research, including research on drug/alcohol-related HIV/AIDS prevention. The research presentations will have been conducted in international settings by international researchers, domestic researchers, or bi-national teams.

International Committee Invited Roundtable

Date:  Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Time: 10:15 am – 11:45 am

SPR International Committee Invited Roundtable: Linking Prevention Science to Practice-Training Substance Use Prevention Professionals on Evidence-Based Interventions and Policies

Chair: Zili Sloboda, ScD, Applied Prevention Science International


  • Rachele Donini
  • Giovanna Campello
  • Gregor Burkhard, MD
  • Harry Sumnall, PhD

Great efforts have been made to translate the successes from applying prevention science to effective prevention interventions and policies and to disseminate this work to policy makers, planners, and implementers in order to provide evidence-based prevention programming at the community level for psychoactive substance use (e.g., alcohol, tobacco, marijuana, opiates). With the definition of the evolving field of prevention science in 2011 by the Society of Prevention Research, the publication of the International Standards on Drug Use Prevention by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and of the European Quality Standards for Drug Prevention by the European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction translation efforts have moved forward rapidly. Subsequent to the publication of the International Standards, the U.S. Department of State supported an effort to develop training material that brought prevention science and evidence-based prevention interventions and practices to substance use prevention professionals around the globe in the form of the Universal Prevention Curriculum (UPC). In 2016, a group of European prevention researchers developed a plan to create an adaptation of the UPC to meet the needs of European prevention professionals (EUPC). The panel will present this historical development, giving an overview of the development of the UPC and EUPC and on its acceptance to date by prevention professionals who have participated in pilot and early research studies of these two versions of the UPC.

Rachele Donini=EUPC

The need of a training curriculum that addresses European prevention professionals was felt by many professionals working in the prevention field for a number of years. This concern prompted the European Commission to fund several significant initiatives (Span Project, EDPQS Phase I and II projects) and in 2017 the project “UPC-Adapt”. The project is based on the Universal Prevention Curriculum developed through the US-based organization Applied Prevention Science International and aimed to adapt the curriculum to the European prevention context. The adaptation was assessed through focus groups and pilot trainings. The findings from these assessments will be presented in order to describe the structure and the contents of the adaptation process undertaken in Europe. A comparison between the UPC and the EUPC will be offered as an example of cultural differences and affinities between US and EU prevention professionals.

Zili Sloboda=UPC

The Universal Prevention Curriculum series (UPC) summarizes the results of more than 30 years of prevention science, which has identified effective interventions and policies that can be applied in communities to prevent substance use. UPC translates the research results and applies them to practice in the primary settings where prevention services are offered—family services, the school, the workplace, and the community. Designed for working professionals in prevention, UPC combines content, skills, and competencies, which can help strengthen individual ability to implement and sustain evidence-based prevention, and also contribute to building effective capacity to the community at large.

Giovanna Campello=International Standards

The Second Updated Edition of the International Standards on Drug Use Prevention, launched by UNODC and WHO in March 2018, will be presented. The Standards summarize the globally available scientific evidence as to which interventions and policies have been found to be efficacious and/or effective in preventing substance use, outlining the characteristics linked to positive, no or negative outcomes. Concurrently, they offer guidance on the features of an effective national drug prevention systems. The first edition of the Standards were developed based on a review of literature published prior to 2013. To update the Standards, UNODC and WHO have undertaken a review of systematic reviews published between 2013 and 2018. The methodology of the review will be presented including reflections on using the ROBIS quality assessment tool and a summary of key findings. Furthermore, plans for disseminating the Standards will be discussed in the context of the other presentations in the panel detailing other initiatives in promoting evidence-based prevention.

Gregor Burkhart=Prevention Systems

Optimizing the implementation and roll-out of evidence-based programs to prevent risky health behaviors such as the use of psychoactive substances depends greatly on existing prevention systems that are in place to support and sustain them over time. The field of substance use prevention is at a pivotal point. The evolution of prevention science has demonstrated that interventions grounded in theories of human behavior and learning not only are effective in achieving their short-term objectives such as changes in normative beliefs and intentions to use substances but also in having a significant effect on substance use outcomes and in some cases on other associated behaviors. The prevention systems of European countries are often very decentralized with financial autonomy and high decision latitude at regional or sometimes local level. Additionally, the respective decision makers at local level are often already semi-professionalized, considering themselves knowledgeable about prevention. This makes them unlikely to dedicate resources and several weeks of their time to undergo a full UPC training. Yet, examples of continuous support for obsolete approaches abound in many regions, and local decision makers are exposed to pressure from industries. Under this peculiar scenario, in order to get UPC-based training into Europe, the original curriculum had to be heavily shortened and condensed, while chapters on nightlife and advocacy were added. This introduction version of the UPC, focused mostly on decision-, opinion- and policy makers at regional and local level has raised interest in a considerable number of Europe’s country. A careful implementation and credentialing is the next challenge.

Harry Sumnall= EDPQS

This presentation focuses on European professional prevention workforce and the relevance of the European Quality Standards for Drug Prevention. It will address emerging challenges to practice because of advances in prevention science, and strategies to support professional development and orientation towards evidence-based approaches. Whilst it is assumed that the key points of these discussions are likely to be transferable across geographies and domains (e.g. tobacco and alcohol prevention), unspecified differences in prevention system structure (including policy and legislation) and professional cultures are acknowledged.