Category Archives: EMCDDA

CND 2015 Side event: “Developing and promoting quality standards in drug demand reduction”

This year’s meeting of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) featured a side event on quality standards. The event was a joint initiative of the European Union, the Government of Latvia, the African Union Commission, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, the UNODC Drug Prevention and Health Branch, and the Prevention Standards Partnership (represented by Liverpool John Moores University, UK).

Ambassadors Györgyi Martin Zanathy and Bahtijors Hasans

The event was opened by Ambassador Györgyi Martin Zanathy, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the International Organisations in Vienna. Ambassador Zanathy emphasised that promotion of quality in the field of drug demand reduction is a priority for the European Union, with three projects funded to this effect – the “Study on the Development of an EU Framework for Minimum quality standards and benchmarks in drug demand reduction” (EQUS) (see our related activities page) and, specifically in the area of prevention, the EDPQS Phase I and Phase II projects. She further praised the efforts of the Civil Society Forum on Drugs (CSF) in this regard, referring also to the CSF’s recent submission of a Thematic Paper on EU minimum quality standards for drug demand reduction to the Horizontal Working Party on Drugs (HDG).

The event was chaired by Ambassador Bahtijors Hasans, the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Latvia to the UN, OSCE and Other International Organizations in Vienna. In his introductory statement, Ambassador Hasans stressed how projects to promote quality standards encourage different stakeholders from government and civil society to come to the negotiation table and to work together towards an evidence-based approach to addressing drug-related needs.

These opening remarks were followed by four presentations to introduce ongoing efforts in this area from different parts of the world.

Dr Gilberto Gerra referring to the treatment of Lymphoma to emphasise the importance of quality standards

Dr Gilberto Gerra, Chief of the Drug Prevention and Health Branch at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), used examples from the medical field to highlight the importance of quality standards. He argued that few people would agree to medical treatment by a doctor who refuses to follow an evidence-based protocol to treat their condition, preferring instead to follow intuition. This, however, was the reality for many activities in drug demand reduction. Dr Gerra argued that the evidence is clear on what doesn’t work to address drug-related needs, but that this knowledge does not sufficiently inform policy and practice. The UNODC has published, and is continuing to develop, standards and guidelines for prevention and treatment. Yet the challenge remains to make these documents widely known and used in different contexts.

Presentation by Ambassador Dr Olawale Maiyegun

Ambassador Dr Olawale Maiyegun, Director of Social Affairs at the African Union Commission (AUC), presented work undertaken by the African Union to raise the quality of treatment for drug dependence. Activities by the AUC include training the workforce, for example as part of the UNODC’s Treatnet projects or using the Universal Treatment Curriculum (UTC). Differences in countries’ public health care systems, along with cultural and socio-economic factors, were one of the challenges which the AUC faces in this process. However, according to Ambassador Maiyegun, the major challenge for the African continent lies in the over-reliance on supply reduction and criminal justice approaches. He commented that treatment was virtually non-existent in some countries, and where it did, treatment practices could be of such a poor standard that they led to greater harm than drug use itself. In this context, promoting quality standards offered an opportunity to redress the balance between supply and demand reduction, and to advocate for greater investment in treatment.

Presentation by Mr Jānis Bekmanis

Next up was Mr Jānis Bekmanis, President of the Horizontal Working Party on Drugs (HDG) during the Latvian Presidency at the Council of the European Union. Mr Bekmanis embedded the projects to promote quality standards within the EU’s wider activities to support high quality drug demand reduction, referring also to the EMCDDA’s Best Practice Portal. Mr Bekmanis was unable to share details with the plenum about the EU minimum quality standards in drug demand reduction, as these standards are still under discussion by the EU Member States. He did disclose that they would include standards for prevention, risk and harm reduction, as well as treatment and rehabilitation. Across these three areas, the standards would reflect common principles oriented toward human rights, monitoring and evaluation, and target population needs. Once the standards have been agreed on by Member States, Mr Bekmanis suggested that further work would be required to support and monitor implementation of the standards.

Prof Harry Sumnall

Finally, Prof Harry Sumnall, Professor in Substance Use at Centre for Public Health, Liverpool John Moores University, spoke on behalf of the Prevention Standards Partnership. Prof Sumnall highlighted that promoting quality in European prevention required collaboration with many partners. This included not only the members of the Prevention Standards Partnership but also other projects and organisations committed to high-quality drug prevention, such as the Three Cities project in Sweden or COPOLAD. A major challenge in promoting quality was how to support the prevention workforce to use and implement quality standards. Prof Sumnall argued that for a true improvement in professional practice, it is not sufficient to influence prevention providers as individuals and organisations, but that policy-makers must create the structures necessary to promote quality. He cited examples from the Czech Republic and Croatia, where the quality of preventive activities is considered when selecting projects for governmental funding. Across Europe, these examples represented the exception rather than the rule. The outputs from the EDPQS Phase II project would therefore include a guide for decision-makers to help revise funding and commissioning systems toward a greater emphasis on quality.

The side event was attended by around 50 participants, and several delegates approached Prof Sumnall over the course of the CND to discuss the role of standards in improving the quality of drug demand reduction activities, including representatives from the Australian Drug Foundation and the New Zealand Drug Foundation.

– Angelina Brotherhood

Harry Sumnall and Angelina Brotherhood with some of the colleagues who helped realise this side event (Jānis Bekmanis, Evika Siliņa and Agnese Veisberga, Government of Latvia; Artur Malczewski, National Bureau for Drug Prevention, Poland; Giovanna Campello, UNODC Drug Prevention and Health Branch) Introducing the EDPQS project Prevention Standards Partnership

Audience at the side event Audience at the side event Harry Sumnall & Angelina Brotherhood with John Rogerson, Australian Drug Foundation, and Ross Bell, NZ Drug Foundation

Silke Vitt was available at the EMCDDA stand to provide further information EDPQS Manual could be picked up during the event as well as from EMCDDA stand Project partner Artur Malczewski of the National Bureau for Drug Prevention (NBDP), Poland, was also present during the CND and referred to the EDPQS during another side event when describing the Polish prevention system

Invitation: EDPQS at the 58th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND)

CND logo

We’re very pleased to announce that the 58th session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) will feature a side event on quality standards in drug demand reduction, including a presentation by Professor Harry Sumnall on the European Drug Prevention Quality Standards (EDPQS).

12.3.2015 Update: Please access our report on this event here.

This side event is a joint initiative of the European Union, the Government of Latvia, the African Union Commission, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, the UNODC Drug Prevention and Health Branch, and the Prevention Standards Partnership (represented by Liverpool John Moores University, UK). Representatives of these organisations will provide an update on their current efforts to develop and promote quality standards in drug demand reduction.

CND 2015 Side event: “DEVELOPING AND PROMOTING QUALITY STANDARDS IN DRUG DEMAND REDUCTION”
Date and time: 11 March 2015, 13.10 – 14.00
Location: Conference Room M3, Vienna International Centre, Vienna, Austria

Download the official invitation

Further information on this side event is also available from the Centre for Public Health at Liverpool John Moores University, UK. To find out more about the CND, visit the UNODC website. The programme for CND 2015, including all main sessions and side events, is available for download here.

Please do come along to our side event if you will be attending this year’s CND.

 

EMCDDA Drugnet Europe 88: “From guidelines to quality standards”

Drugnet Europe 88The most recent issue of EMCDDA’s Drugnet Europe contains a short article reporting on international developments regarding quality standards, referring also to the European Drug Prevention Quality Standards (EDPQS). The article was written by Marica Ferri, Danilo Ballotta and Alessandra Bo, and can be accessed here (p. 3).

EMCDDA publishes ‘quick guide’ to Prevention Standards

quickguide_coverLast week, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) launched a new publication entitled European drug prevention quality standards: a quick guide. Prepared by Angelina Brotherhood and Harry Sumnall on behalf of the Prevention Standards Partnership, the quick guide summarises the main points of the full EMCDDA Manual and encourages professionals to start using the standards for self-reflection. It includes a description of the eight stages involved in the drug prevention cycle, along with a self-reflection checklist that can be used when planning and implementing prevention activities.

The primary target audiences of the quick guide are:

  • professionals who are not yet familiar with the concept of quality standards in prevention and who wish to find out more about this topic;
  • professionals who need more information about the standards in order to decide whether the manual could usefully support their work; and
  • professionals who wish to take a first step in conducting self-reflection using the standards.

In terms of professional groups, policymakers and commissioners at national, regional and local levels as well as service managers will find this document particularly useful.

The quick guide was originally commissioned for use by EU acceding and (potential) candidate countries, and it is therefore available in Croatian, Bosnian, Macedonian, Albanian, Serbian, and Turkish (coming soon). However, professionals within established EU Member States will find the ‘quick guide’ equally useful, and we expect that translations of the quick guide in some EU Member State languages will also become available soon. Translations will be posted on our Resources available in other languages page.

The quick guide can be accessed either on the original EMCDDA page or by accessing our Resources page:

http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/publications/adhoc/prevention-standard

Resources to support use of the Prevention Standards