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Epidemiology and prevention 

Epidemiology and prevention
Chapter:
Epidemiology and prevention
DOI:
10.1093/med/9780198714750.003.0002
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date: 16 June 2019

Chapter 2 of Addiction Medicine examines the epidemiology and prevention of drug, alcohol and tobacco use and of policy measures to reduce harm. It provides an overview of prevalence around the world of commonly used psychoactive drugs. Risk factors for the development of substance use disorders are described. It also provides an overview of policy measures available to prevent the development of substance use disorders or other alcohol- or drug- related harms. The risks and benefits of prohibition, decriminalization, prescription, and regulation of psychoactive substances are described. The chapter concludes that health practitioners need to be actively engaged in shaping policies concerning the appropriate legal status, availability, affordability, and treatment options for psychoactive substance use and users.

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