Substance abuse prevention

Drug abuse prevention and drug use prevention is a process that attempts to prevent the onset of substance use or limit the development of problems associated with using psychoactive substances. Prevention efforts may focus on the individual or their surroundings. A concept known as "environmental prevention" focuses on changing community conditions or policies so that the availability of substances is reduced as well as the demand.

Substance abuse prevention efforts typically focus on minors – children and teens. Substances typically targeted by preventive efforts include alcohol (including binge drinking, drunkenness, and driving under the influence), tobacco (including cigarettes and various forms of smokeless tobacco), marijuana, inhalants (volatile solvents including among other things glue, gasoline, aerosols, ether, fumes from white out and marking pens), cocaine (including crack cocaine), methamphetamine, steroids, club drugs (such as Ecstacy), and opioids.

Of these, substance abuse prevention typically focuses on alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana based on gateway drug theory which proposes that these three substances are typically used first and may ultimately lead to the use of "hard drugs" like cocaine or heroin.