National policy on psychoactive substances use prevention

The implementation of psychoactive substances use prevention goals and actions are in the following national documents:

Lithuanian Progress Strategy “Lithuania 2030“ 

In both, international and Lithuanian national strategic documents, one of the prioritised goals is health strengthening and providing favourable conditions for formation of healthy lifestyle. The Lithuanian Progress Strategy  “Lithuania 2030“  foresees  consolidation  of  efforts of the society bodies and Government  institutions to strengthen the public health:  to implement  measures for alcohol, tobacco and drug use prevention, to increase the public awareness of healthy lifestyle benefits.  

Lithuanian Health Programme 2014–2025 

One of the goals of the Lithuanian Health Programme 2014–2025 is to develop healthy lifestyle and its culture as well.  Aiming at this goal an objective “to reduce use of alcoholic beverages and tobacco, illicit use and availability of drugs and psychotropic substances, also accessibility of gambling, computer games, etc. “ 

National Education Strategy 2013–2022 

One of the goals foreseen in the National Education Strategy  2013–2022  is “to implement systematic changes conditioning reduction of sneering, human trafficking and violence, alcohol and tobacco use in schools to ensure psychological security of  the school community.“ 

National Drug, Tobacco and Alcohol Control and Prevention Programme 2018–2028

In 2017, upon the Drug, tobacco and Alcohol Department‘s initiative a long-term strategic document was prepared for the first time, seeking to implement the alcohol, tobacco and drug control policy complexly, to assess problems related to alcohol, tobacco and drug use and opportunities, to solve them in an integrated manner, recognising that psychoactive substance use primarily should be approached as a problem to ensure the person‘s physical, mental health, his / her and public social welfare.

Prevention coordination division of Drug, Tobacco and Alcohol Control Department is responsible for the implementation of European drug prevention quality standards (EDPQS); coordination of the international early intervention programme based on scientific data throughout Lithuania; implementation of prevention measures on the internet, including the social media, for different target groups (websites for parents; youth; smokers who want to quit); conducting research to develop and increase the availability of evidence-based prevention measures.

Universal prevention

A great attention in Lithuania is allocated to prevention quality standards. In 2016, Drug, Tobacco and Alcohol Control Department facing the needs of the specialists for the knowledge necessary for successful prevention implementation and taking into account the Minimum Quality Standards in Drug Demand Reduction, translated, adapted and published a quick guide to the European drug prevention quality standards (EDPQS). Trainings for prevention specialists how to apply the standards are provided every year.

Website – an online training programme for parents

There are many different types of information and facts about the communication with children or problem solving, but parents often ask the same question – how to implement it in practice? Also parents in Lithuania very rarely participate in parenting skills training programmes, and when faced with the problem of children psychoactive substance use, they usually try to solve it themselves and do not seek help. In order to help parents solve this dilemma, in 2015 “Mentor Lithuania” with the collaboration of Drug, Tobacco and Alcohol Control Department, developed the website ("What do children do?") which is also a modern online training programme for parents. The online learning program "What do children do?" Is a unique, effective and convenient tool designed specifically for parents to help them understand their children better, strengthen their relationships and provide them with the necessary knowledge about parenthood, their role in preventing their teens from psychoactive substance use, and develop necessary skills. It is based on the principle of tasks, which make it easy to apply the acquired knowledge in practice. Since 2020 the administrator of the website ("What do children do?") is Drug, Tobacco and Alcohol Control Department.

In 2016 Drug, Tobacco and Alcohol Control Department joined the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) campaign “Listen first”, translated, published online and distributed campaign materials: for policy makers, parents, teachers, prevention workers and health workers. Campaign material in LithuanianEnglish.

Website for young persons

At the end of 2018 the Department reacting to the nowadays context of psychoactive substance use and having taken into consideration best practices in other countries together with the Vilnius Academy of Arts developed website www.aškritiš the content of which seeks to adequately inform a young person concerning psychoactive substances, effect and risks of their use. It aims at encouragement to be open, to communicate, to act, not to fear challenges and responsibilities, and mainly – to lead a healthy lifestyle and interesting life, to have confidence in oneself.  The internet page consists of 9 informative rubrics focusing on questions facing youth about psychoactive substance use, inducing to find alternatives and attractive activities for self-development.  The columns of website www.aškritiš include 200 topical information links concerning healthy lifestyle, sports, self-development, books, activities, cultural events, etc. It also provides descriptions of 30 psychoactive substances including analogues of their original names seeking to present reliable information, 28 myths and facts in relation to psychoactive substance use.


Selective prevention

Drug, Tobacco and Alcohol Control Department together with association “Mentor Lithuania”, in 2017 initiated a social campaign "Childhood in the Shadow" to highlight the problem of alcohol consumption in the family. The aim of this campaign is to raise public awareness about alcohol-related problems in the family and possibilities to solve them. A survey (conducted in 2017) results emphasize the need of public education, the lack of measures to help adults support children who are growing in problematic families. During the 2018 there were public events, articles in the media and trainings for teachers on how to help and communicate with the children of alcoholics. The social campaign has its own ambassadors, a video clip was created with one of them.


Indicated prevention

In 2017 a decision was adopted to implement the Early Intervention Programme (Fred Goes Net) in all municipalities applying one point service principle and universal procedures for participation of youth with alcohol and drug use experience in the programme. The new practice, being under establishment, is oriented towards ensuring to receive services in the person’s municipality confidentially, opportunities to choose participation in the events on a voluntary basis, proposal of the activities as an alternative to punishment, imposing of minimal sanctions or those for administrative offences. Aiming at visibility of the services, motivating youth to contact and participate, the Drug, Tobacco and Alcohol Control Department, as the implementing agency of the Early Intervention Programme, using attractive information measures started communication through social media, youth organisations, general education schools and establishments operating in municipalities.


Website – support for smokers who want to quit

According to the provisions of the Law on the Control of Tobacco, Tobacco Products and Related Products, Drug, Tobacco and Alcohol Control Department, has created a special website, in which people who want to quit smoking can find information about smoking harm and quitting smoking, support, advices on how to do it, where they can get the help as well as share their success stories. The website is available since 2016. Moreover, the website is actively promoted on its Facebook page by creating attractive and informative messages of positive aspects of non-smoking.

New developments in nightlife settings

In 2017 the Survey of psychoactive substances use among visitors of entertainment settings was carried out. Continuing the implementation of best international practices in 2018 the Drug, Tobacco and Alcohol Control Department prepared the recommendations Nightlife and Drugs for organisers of massive events and administrations of entertainment settings. The publication‘s information seeks to increase social responsibility of administrations of entertainment venues and organisers of massive events and to motivate them to provide services of adequate quality and oriented to health of the visitors.

In 2017, the implementation of the new Drug, tobacco and alcohol control department’s educational initiative Be Safe Lab started. The aim of the initiative is to establish a safer environment at the festivals, also to inform the festival visitors of safe behaviour in relation to issues concerning psychoactive substance use. 2017–2018 educational initiative Be Safe Lab of public and non-governmental organisations encouraging summer music festival visitors to take care of their health or health of surrounding people and contributing to their awareness raising.

The team of Be Safe Lab consisting of qualified specialists working in the area of psychoactive substance use prevention at festivals provide two types of services:  

•Educational: festival visitors are provided with information regarding effects and risk of psychoactive substances, sexually transmitted diseases, intoxicated driving, visitors are provided with an opportunity to test alcohol intoxication with alcotesters and do an instant HIV test;

•Psychological help: professional psychological help is provided twenty-four hours to individuals having used psychoactive substances



Aušra Želvienė, Head of the Prevention Coordination Division, is responsible of providing information in the segment "Psychoactive substances use prevention". Contact information: tel. +370 690 58311, e-mail [email protected]

Last updated: 06-05-2024