Category Archives: News

Quick Guide available in Latvian & first EDPQS training event held in Riga

We are pleased to announce that the Quick Guide to the European Drug Prevention Quality Standards (EDPQS) was recently published in Latvian. This means that the Quick Guide is now available in 15 languages.

The quick guide was translated and published by the Latvian Centre for Disease Prevention and Control that is responsible for public health prevention coordination and represents the National Focal Point for the Reitox network of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).

In addition, the Centre for Disease Prevention and Control of Latvia, in collaboration with EDPQS project partner Artur Malczewski from the Polish National Bureau for Drug Prevention, organised the first EDPQS training in the capital Riga using EDPQS Toolkit 3 (Training). This event was held on 30 November 2016 and gathered together 17 experts representing ministries and other state institutions, municipalities, the police’s prevention unit and non-governmental organisations.

The organisers of the training received positive feedback, and the results of pre-test and post-test showed that participants improved their knowledge about the EDPQS quick guide and the way how to use it; moreover, the majority of participants noted that this tool would be useful in their work.

It is planned that in 2017 another training on EDPQS standards will be organised and that more EDPQS toolkits will be translated into Latvian.

For more information about EDPQS activities in Latvia, please visit our Latvia country page.

Participants at the first EDPQS training event in Riga, Latvia

Pamphlet promotes EDPQS to support local preventive work in Sweden

Swedish EDPQS pamphletLocal drugs coordinators (known as ANDT-coordinators; ANDT = alcohol, narcotic drugs, doping and tobacco) in the county governments in Örebro and Värmland, Sweden, have produced a pamphlet about quality in prevention in order to stimulate and enhance the local preventive work. The pamphlet is built on EDPQS-thinking and advocates the EDPQS as a means for quality support (page 9).

The pamphlet was introduced at a large regional conference for local policy-makers, police and local ANDT-coordinators. EDPQS project partner Anders Eriksson supported the process of producing this material and gave a presentation at the conference to contextualise the material from an EDPQS project perspective.

For further information about this project, please contact the regional ANDT-coordinators at;; and

For all information about EDPQS activities in Sweden, please visit our Sweden country page.

Toolkits available in Polish & Conference in Warsaw on “Quality in Prevention”

On 5-6 October this year, an international conference entitled “Quality in Prevention” was held in Warsaw by the National Bureau for Drug Prevention (KBPN) and Mazovian Centre for Social Policy (MCPS). The conference was attended by over 140 participants, including 20 foreign experts from Cypress, Georgia, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Sweden, Ukraine and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).

The annual meeting for representatives of local governments was opened by Mr Jarosław Pinkas, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Health.


A key aim of the conference was to present new Polish publications concerning the European Drug Prevention Quality Standards (EDPQS) – the three EDPQS Toolkits 1, 2 and 4 have been translated into Polish by the MCPS and are now available in hard copy and online:

During the session devoted to the EDPQS, an MCPS representative (Piotr Oniszk) discussed the new publications by the Prevention Standards Partnership, while an Italian expert (Rachele Donini) presented the EDPQS training toolkit (see Rachele’s slides here). In Italy, the European Standards have been applied in the context of University education. Moreover, representatives of the city of Malmö, Sweden (Mats Glans and Ulf Ljungberg) discussed the implementation of the standards within the Three Cities project. The Lithuanian expert outlined the progress of implementing the EDPQS and presented results of the evaluation of EDPQS training events which had been conducted by a Polish Reitox Focal Point staff member in Vilnius in June 2016 (for more information view our previous blog post or go to In 2016, two additional one-day EDPQS training events were organized: first in Poland for Wrocław City prevention specialists on 21 October, second in Latvia on 30 October in Riga (lecturer – EDPQS Project Partner Artur Malczewski).

The remaining sessions addressed other topics relating to drug prevention:

Information on the situation of drugs and drug addiction in their home countries was also presented by the experts from Georgia and Ukraine, while the Polish speakers discussed issues related to the Act of 15 September 2015 on Public Health and the National Health Programme (Ministry of Health, Municipal Office of the City of Wrocław). Moreover, speakers from the cities of Wrocław, Pabianice and Płock presented activities of local governments in the field of drug prevention.

The representative of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction presented two EMCDDA reports: one was devoted to the current situation regarding drugs, while the other discussed drug policies in large cities. The former report is available in English as well as Polish at the EMCDDA’s website:; while the second report is available in English from

During the session devoted to recommended drug prevention programmes, a new website ( launched by the National Bureau for Drug Prevention (KBPN) was shown. The system of recommended drug prevention programmes has been operational in Poland since 2010 and is the result of the collaboration of four institutions: National Bureau for Drug Prevention, State Agency for the Prevention of Alcohol-Related Problems, Centre for Education Development as well as Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology. In addition, conclusions from the 3rd National Conference entitled Drugs – Drug Addiction. Policy, Science and Practice were presented, a conference organized in June this year by the National Bureau for Drug Prevention and the Polish Foundation for Humanitarian Aid Res Humanae for local government officials.

One of the last conference sessions featured the presentation of the Warsaw Declaration, which was developed during the 2nd International Urban Drug Policies Conference (UDPC2016), organized in February this year in Warsaw by the Polish Drug Policy Network, Municipal Office of the City of Warsaw and National Bureau for Drug Prevention (

To view the full conference agenda, please click here.

For more information regarding EDPQS in Poland, please view our Poland country page.

– Artur Malczewski

EDPQS Quick Guide published & first EDPQS training event held in Lithuania

Quick Guide in LithuanianWe’re pleased to announce that the Quick Guide to the European Drug Prevention Quality Standards (EDPQS) is now available in Lithuanian, and that the Lithuanian Drug, Tobacco and Alcohol Control Department has commenced delivering formal training events on the EDPQS.

The Quick Guide was translated, adapted and published by the Lithuanian Drug, Tobacco and Alcohol Control Department, using EDPQS Toolkit 4: Adaptation and Dissemination.

Initial activities to use and disseminate the EDPQS in Lithuania started already in 2012. In 2016, the Lithuanian Drug, Tobacco and Alcohol Control Department started delivering formal training events to support the use and implementation of the EDPQS.

The first training event was held on 30th June 2016, organised in collaboration with the Polish EDPQS Project Partner, the Polish National Bureau for Drug Prevention (lecturer – Artur Malczewski). There were 22 participants from state, municipality institutions and non-governmental organisations. Training evaluation results showed an overall increase of participants’ awareness, motivation, skills and knowledge regarding quality in drug prevention (all these indicators were higher after the training than before the training).

EDPQS trainings will also be organised in 2017 and 2018. All training events are planned and delivered using EDPQS Toolkit 3: Training.

For more information about EDPQS in Lithuania, please visit our Lithuania country page.

Participants at the first EDPQS training event in Lithuania

Participants at the first EDPQS training event in Lithuania

Participants at the first EDPQS training event in Lithuania

EDPQS Project Partner Artur Malczewski helping to facilitate the event

EDPQS Project Partner Artur Malczewski helping to facilitate the first training event

New video available: Harry Sumnall presents at UNODC

In December 2015, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) held a Scientific Consultation on Prevention of Drug Use and Treatment of Drug Use Disorders, which featured a series of presentations on prevention and treatment related topics.

Speakers included, to name but just a few, Sheppard Kellam, John Strang, Vladimir Poznyak, William Crano, Wayne Hall, Marcia Ferri, David Foxcroft, as well as EDPQS project lead Harry Sumnall.

The UNODC has now made the presentations available online. You can watch Harry’s presentation about the EDPQS by clicking on the image below:

Prof Harry Sumnall

We are sure you will also enjoy the other talks; you can find the entire playlist at

Happy watching!

Toolkit 1 (Funding & Decision-Making) available in Greek

EDPQS Toolkit 1 in GreekWe are pleased to announce that EDPQS Toolkit 1 is now also available in Greek. The translation was provided by our project partners in Greece, the University Mental Health Research Institute (UMHRI), who also involved a group of Greek professionals in the adaptation of the original English-language terminology. It is envisaged that further Greek translations of EDPQS materials will follow over the coming months.

The publication of the EDPQS materials in Greek comes at an opportune moment. The Greek project partners have organised a number of EDPQS activities in Greece, including a dedicated workshop which took place in Athens last year, during which practitioners and commissioners discussed how the EDPQS could be usefully applied in Greece. Currently, UMHRI is collaborating with the Greek Organisation Against Drugs (ΟΚΑΝΑ) to explore different possiblities of using the EDPQS in Greece. EDPQS Toolkit 1 may, for example, be used to support funding procedures regarding prevention activities, or be used to develop further the quality criteria according to which the existing Prevention Centres operate.

For more information about EDPQS in Greece, please visit our Greece country page.

Public Health England runs EDPQS training session

Toolkit 3 previewIn December 2015, Public Health England (PHE) used the EDPQS Training Toolkit (EDPQS Toolkit 3) to facilitate a training event with local authority commissioners and charitable funders working in drug prevention. Madeleine Rudolph, Programme Manager at the Alcohol and Drugs Team, PHE London, described the training event as follows.

Public Health England (PHE) aims to ensure the development and delivery of high quality, evidence based interventions across all of our areas of work. Where we do not directly deliver services, for example alcohol and drug prevention and treatment interventions, we aim to achieve our objective by aiding those who do so through the dissemination of evidence and championing robust quality assurance mechanisms.

In December 2015, PHE London’s alcohol and drugs team facilitated a training session on the substance misuse prevention evidence base and quality assurance of these interventions. The team liaised with Liverpool John Moores University, utilising the new European Drug Prevention Quality Standards (EDPQS) toolkits, in addition to PHE’s own summary of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s systematic assessment of evidence.

The session brought together Local Authority service commissioners and funders from a range of charitable trusts, creating an added opportunity for networking and potential future collaboration. Participants were selected by PHE to ensure the messages reached those in a position to directly influence the provision of prevention interventions.

The session was well received. Working through the “Stella” case study from EDPQS Toolkit 3 was perceived as being very useful and as bringing the standards to life. Attendees also cited a range of ways in which they would utilise the EDPQS standards such as in creating service specifications and considering funding applications.

In 2016, PHE London is planning to utilise additional EDPQS materials to deliver complementary training for service providers and grant applicants.

For further information about PHE’s work, please contact us and we can put you in touch with the relevant individuals.

Tajikistan: seminar on quality standards

EDPQS researcher Angelina Brotherhood has recently returned from Dushanbe, Tajikistan, where she facilitated a three-day seminar entitled “Prevention Strategy and Policy Makers” on behalf of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Angelina facilitating the discussion on prevention systems

Angelina facilitating a discussion on prevention systems

The seminar was attended by some 18 participants, representing government agencies, local non-governmental organisations, as well as international organisations. The aim of the seminar was to introduce participants to the UNODC International Standards on Drug Use Prevention (see our Related activities page), as well as the UNODC’s forthcoming guidance on evaluation. Through group-work, participants were supported in assessing the existing provision of prevention activities in Tajikistan and to identify areas for improvement based on international guidance.

Similar events have been organised by the UNODC in some 60 countries around the world, reaching over 250 policy-makers and practitioners working in the drug prevention field.

The European Drug Prevention Quality Standards (EDPQS) are also presented at these seminars, as they complement the UNODC International Standards on Drug Use Prevention well. While the UNODC International Standards describe what types of policies and interventions have been found to successfully address drug use or relevant mediators, the EDPQS describe the formal processes and structures required to implement high quality drug prevention. Put simply, the UNODC International Standards on Drug Use Prevention describe ‘what’ to do in prevention, while the EDPQS describe ‘how’ to do prevention (Burkhart 2015).

At this event, the EDPQS were presented in a half-hour session and hard copies of the EPDQS manual were also available for participants. The UNODC funded the translation of the presentation slides into Russian, meaning that for the first time, EDPQS materials are now also available in Russian.

Angelina Brotherhood reflected on the event as follows:

“It was a great experience talking to Tajik policy-makers and practitioners about drug prevention activities in their country, and I’m grateful that the UNODC invited me to hold this workshop on their behalf. Tajikistan faces unique challenges. The country is still recovering from a civil war that lasted for several years in the 1990s, whilst still being confronted with the horrors of war in its neighbouring country Afghanistan. Its proximity to Afghanistan also means proximity to the drugs trade. Seminar participants also mentioned the ‘incomplete families’ produced by emigration. Many people (especially men) leave Tajikistan in search for work, and these labour migrants’ wives were identified as a vulnerable population. I was also interested to learn that women from disadvantaged backgrounds typically cannot afford to pay to give birth in hospital, and thus home births are common among this group. Participants also spoke of the role of local traditions and superstitions which can prevent women from undergoing medical examinations. These women are consequently hard to reach and the seminar participants identified the need for greater efforts to provide medical and psychosocial services to these groups.

There are a number of different prevention activities being implemented in Tajikistan. Notably, manualised evidence-based programmes are also being adapted and piloted by the UNODC. Participants were concerned about how to sustain this work, ensuring that pilots are transformed into routine activities with high coverage of target populations. This, of course, is not a challenge faced only in this country, as we have heard similar reports from European countries throughout the EDPQS Phase I and Phase II projects.

Besides the discussion on content, participants were very interested to learn about the EDPQS. They appreciated the project cycle as a systematic way for thinking about and planning prevention. Currently, there are no national standards available in Tajikistan or any other regulatory frameworks to specify quality requirements for drug prevention. One of the outcomes of the meeting was the decision to develop national quality standards for drug prevention in Tajikistan. We discussed that such a consensus-building process, if organised carefully with involvement of all relevant stakeholders, could also help to strengthen the collaboration and coordination among prevention stakeholders in this country. Participants were interested to hear about the experiences from other countries regarding the development of quality standards, and I was glad that with EDPQS Toolkit 4, I was able to offer them a written step-by-step guide to the development of quality standards.

A model prevention system, as proposed in the UNODC International Standards on Drug Use Prevention

A model prevention system, as proposed in the UNODC International Standards on Drug Use Prevention

On the last day, there was a discussion of the national prevention system which I really enjoyed. We tried to map the Tajik prevention system against the model prevention system proposed in the UNODC International Standards on Drug Use Prevention (see above). This was a really useful process to help visualise existing organisations and structures, as well as to identify areas where things are not yet working as well as they could. One of the things to come out of this discussion was the double role of international organisations and donors. On the one hand, these organisations play a key role in planning and implementing drug prevention activities in this country. On the other hand, these activities are outside the remit of the government, and thus there may be issues with fragmentation and sustainability. It can also lead to a dependence on foreign money and expertise. Participants at the seminar all agreed that a sustainable and coherent approach to drug prevention requires strong national coordination mechanisms and delivery structures, including structures to train up a professional prevention workforce locally.

The key question of course is how to put all the good plans and intentions resulting from this meeting into practice. Over the three days, we documented all the recommendations and actions arising from the meeting. We were able to identify those individuals and organisations who are interested to take this work forward. Thankfully, the National Centre for Drugs Monitoring and Prevention volunteered to host a follow-up meeting during which the action plan could be developed further. The atmosphere upon closing the meeting was really positive, and I hope that participants will be able to continue the work and address some of the challenges which we identified together. The prevention system in Tajikistan is still in its infancy, so this is an opportune moment to set the course for a quality approach to drug prevention.”

Plenary discussion

Plenary discussion

EDPQS at the Sixth EUSPR Conference and Members’ Meeting

The Sixth Conference and Members’ Meeting of the European Society for Prevention Research (EUSPR) ( was held from 22-24 October 2015 in Ljubljana, Slovenia. The conference, entitled “Changing Behaviour without Talking”, was attended by over 150 delegates, including researchers, policy-makers and practitioners, with an interest in prevention research and evidence-based prevention strategies.

There were a number of sessions relating to quality standards in general, as well as the European Drug Prevention Quality Standards (EDPQS) specifically.

Prof Harry Sumnall presenting the newly launched EDPQS Toolkits

Prof Harry Sumnall presenting the newly launched EDPQS Toolkits

Professor Harry Sumnall introduced the newly developed EDPQS Toolkits during a special lunch-time session in the afternoon of Day 2. Professor Sumnall briefly described the background to the EDPQS project, and then presented each new Toolkit in turn, highlighting potential benefits for different professional groups working in the prevention field.

Also on Day 2, Dr Gregor Burkhart presented a talk entitled “Quality Standards in Drug Demand Reduction: Prevention gave the example”. In this talk, he discussed the EU’s recently published Council conclusions on the implementation of minimum quality standards in drug demand reduction in the EU. Following the presentation, there was a heated debate regarding the feasibility of standards and optimal ways to introducing and promoting standards in EU Member States. Several members of the European Prevention Standards Partnership were present at the session and contributed to the debate with their insights gained from the EDPQS Phase I and Phase II projects.

Dr Gregor Burkhart presented the premises for developing European minimum standards for drug demand reduction

Dr Gregor Burkhart presented the premises for developing European minimum standards for drug demand reduction

On the final day of the conference, Session 13A on “Prevention policy and practice” featured a number of presentations relating to quality standards and professional qualification. The aim of the session was to present practical prevention experiences as well as the potential impact of policy in the prevention field, showing how practice and policy must go hand in hand in order to achieve effectiveness.

Dr Gregor Burkhart presented his recently published paper “International standards in prevention: How to influence prevention systems by policy interventions?” (the article can be accessed here for free); and Michal Miovsky from the Czech Republic presented work on a national qualification system for professionals in prevention (the abstract can be viewed here).

Dr Rachele Donini presented the development process behind EDPQS Toolkit 3

Dr Rachele Donini presented the development process behind EDPQS Toolkit 3

Also in this session, Dr Rachele Donini – one of the Italian EDPQS project partners – presented a talk entitled “Together we can: stakeholders involvement as a key factor in developing a training tool for prevention practitioners”. In the presentation Dr Donini explained the process that was used to develop EDPQS Toolkit 3. This Toolkit is a guide written for trainers to help them train policy makers, service managers, prevention providers, researchers, practitioners and university students regarding the European drug prevention quality standards (EDPQS). Dr Donini showed how stakeholders had been involved in the development of the toolkit, emphasising the stakeholders involvement as a key factor in the toolkit’s development. Stakeholders were representatives of the intended recipients of the training. She concluded that their knowledge and needs offered an interesting point of view in terms of the wording used, the training activities proposed and the timing of the training. The slides from her presentation are available here.

To access Rachele's slides, please click on the image above

To access the slides, please click on the image above

We were also pleased to be able to offer free hard copies of the EMCDDA’s Manual on EDPQS at one of the stands, which delegates were happy to take home. The UNODC’s International Standards on Drug Use Prevention were also available in print.

These were just some of the highlights of the conference relating to quality and quality standards in drug prevention, and we hope to be represented again at next year’s event.

For further information about the EUSPR 2015 conference:

  • The main conference web page:
  • The full programme of the conference, including all abstracts, can be found here.
  • You can also see what conference delegates posted on Twitter regarding the conference: #EUSPR15.
Impressions from EUSPR15 (Plenary talk by Hugo Harper, UK)

Impressions from EUSPR15 (Plenary talk by Hugo Harper, UK)

Impressions from EUSPR15 (coffee break)

Impressions from EUSPR15 (coffee break)

Travel report by Angelina Brotherhood and Rachele Donini.

Launch of EDPQS toolkits to support quality in prevention

We’re excited to announce that today sees the launch of new materials to support quality in prevention based on the European Drug Prevention Quality Standards (EDPQS).

What new materials are available and what do they offer?

As a result of a 2-year project to develop practical tools which could support practitioners, policy-makers and other members of the prevention community to achieve quality in prevention based on the EDPQS, the following support materials are now available:

  • EDPQS Toolkit 1 for policy-makers, commissioners and funders, summarising key messages and recommendations arising from the EDPQS for this professional group with special consideration given to the challenges of selecting prevention activities for funding or other forms of support
  • EDPQS Toolkit 2 for practitioners including service managers and front-line workers, including practical quality assessment checklists and improvement support questionnaires that can help practitioners identify stronger and weaker areas of their projects with a view to aiding self-reflection and communication with funders and other partners
  • EDPQS Toolkit 3 to help trainers and professional educators deliver training on quality and quality standards in drug prevention, including suggestions for interactive workshops with practitioners, decision-makers and University students, supported by presentation slides, participant handouts and more
  • EDPQS Toolkit 4 for people in a coordinating role wishing to develop or introduce quality standards at a regional or national level or in a particular setting, providing step-by-step guidance on how to translate, adapt and disseminate quality standards based on real-life examples of EDPQS adaptation
Toolkit 4

A preview of EDPQS Toolkit 4 (Adaptation & Dissemination)

Screenshot of EDPQS web application

Screenshot of EDPQS web application for practitioners

EDPQS Toolkit 2 is also available as a web application. Thanks to a successful collaboration with 2GIKA web services, those in charge of planning, developing and implementing prevention activities (e.g. service managers, programme developers, front-line workers) can use this toolkit in an interactive and engaging way. Toolkits users can:

  • Receive immediate feedback on the quality of different prevention activities
  • Track progress in developing activities further
  • Easily enter and save information about prevention activities
  • Save work and come back later
  • Download the information for reusing it elsewhere (e.g. reports)

In addition, the Partnership developed the following resources to aid work with the EDPQS and support a better understanding of the work we do:

  • EDPQS Activities Map informs you about EDPQS-related activities in different countries, available translations of EDPQS materials, contact details of local and national project partners, and much more
  • A Brief Summary includes a handout as well as a set of PowerPoint slides that can be used to quickly understand and explain to others what the EDPQS offer
  • EDPQS Position Paper explains some of the theoretical considerations underpinning the EDPQS work, in particular the Partnership’s views on the aims of drug prevention and the principles of high quality prevention
  • EDPQS Theory of Change clarifies how introduction of quality standards can help to improve prevention practice and lead to better outcomes for target populations
  • Questions & Answers help to clarify common questions and possible misunderstandings regarding the EDPQS

An overview of all new materials as well as previous materials (such as the Manual and the Quick Guide) is available from the Resources page.

What are the EDPQS and why are new materials needed?

The EDPQS were published by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) in 2011. They can help the prevention community as they:

  • Define what quality means in relation to drug prevention
  • Offer a vision of what prevention should aspire to
  • Formulate basic- and expert-level expectations toward prevention activities
  • Translate good practice recommendations into specific quality statements
EDPQS Partnership

The European Prevention Standards Partnership, at a meeting in Athens in February 2015

The EDPQS were developed by the European Prevention Standards Partnership, a consortium comprising European partners from practice, policy and academia, and supported by co-funding received from the European Union (for more information, see the EDPQS Phase I project page).

Following publication of the standards, it became clear that practical application of the standards would require additional support materials. Consequently, an extended Partnership started work in 2013 to develop practical tools which could support practitioners, policy-makers and other members of the prevention community to achieve quality in prevention based on the EDPQS (for more information, see the EDPQS Phase II project page).

Prof Harry Sumnall, LJMUProfessor Harry Sumnall, project lead in the EDPQS Phase I and Phase II projects, said:

“I’m pleased that we can now offer practical tools to help people put the EDPQS into practice without having to rely only on the thick EDPQS manual and the simple quick guide. I look forward to hearing about people’s experiences with the toolkits and hope that they will contribute to improving the quality of prevention activities, ensuring that money and effort are invested in activities that represent and support good practice. I hope we as a Partnership can continue our work on EDPQS in the future, possibly by providing training and linking EDPQS to broader activities to help professionalise the workforce and develop national prevention systems further.”

To learn more about the EDPQS, please visit our introduction to the EDPQS. You can also sign up to our newsletter to receive future updates regarding the EDPQS. For any additional enquiries, please feel free to contact us.