Category Archives: Related activities

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.

polish-toolkits

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 http://www.cinn.gov.pl/portal?id=1030573). 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: http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/publications/edr/trends-developments/2016; while the second report is available in English from http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/publications/emcdda-papers/drug-policy-and-the-city.

During the session devoted to recommended drug prevention programmes, a new website (http://programyrekomendowane.pl) 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 (http://urbandrugpolicies.com/).

To view the full conference agenda, please click here.

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

– Artur Malczewski

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) (www.euspr.org) 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: http://euspr.org/euspr-2015/
  • 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.

Minimum quality standards for drug demand reduction interventions in the EU

EU Council ConclusionsOn 14 September 2015, the Council of the European Union adopted Council conclusions on the implementation of minimum quality standards in drug demand reduction in the EU.

The new “minimum quality standards in drug demand reduction in the EU” build on previous initiatives to formulate and establish quality standards in prevention, treatment and harm reduction, including the European Drug Prevention Quality Standards (EDPQS) initiative (although developed through a separate activity, not directly related to the EDPQS Phase I or Phase II projects).

Recognising that implementation of standards such as the EDPQS cannot rely on engagement with practitioners alone, but requires political support at all levels, these new standards can be considered a major achievement as they have been formally endorsed by the governments of the EU Member States. It is hoped that they will provide a significant foundation upon which to implement future activities to support high quality in the drug demand reduction field (including prevention), to professionalise the workforce and strengthen existing delivery systems.

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) commented on the publication of the minimum standards as follows:

“This innovative initiative lists 16 standards that represent a minimum benchmark of quality for interventions in: drug use prevention, risk and harm reduction, treatment, social integration and rehabilitation. Although non-binding for national governments, this document represents the political will of EU countries to address demand reduction interventions through an evidence-based perspective.” (http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/news/2015/eu-minimum-quality-standards)

The political process leading up to this achievement required several years of work and the long-term support and commitment of many stakeholders. The European Prevention Standards Partnership followed the development closely and supported it at several stages. A milestone in the process, for example, was the publication of a first proposal for minimum standards in 2011: the EQUS Minimum Quality Standards in Drug Demand Reduction. These were developed in collaboration with the European Prevention Standards Partnership (responsible for the prevention strand; for further details see Example 6 in our EDPQS Toolkit 4).

The work on EU minimum standards then advanced significantly during the EU Presidencies of Italy (2014) and of Latvia (2015), with a revised proposal for minimum standards drawn up and discussed in a year-long process during the meetings of the Horizontal Working Party on Drugs (HDG) (highlighted in a previous blog post regarding the CND 2015 Side Event). Representatives of the European Prevention Standards Partnership provided input regarding the methods and sources used to develop the minimum standards, as well as their contents.

We are pleased that the endorsed minimum standards are fully compatible with, and make explicit reference to, the EDPQS. The EDPQS will continue to be helpful to achieve these minimum standards in the prevention field, and to think about quality standards and the practicalities of achieving quality at a more in-depth level.

“Minimum quality standards for drug demand reduction interventions in the EU”

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).

Quick guide available in new language: Spanish

Quick Guide in SpanishThe ‘quick guide’ to the European Drug Prevention Quality Standards (EDPQS), published in 2013 by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) in collaboration with the Prevention Standards Partnership, is now available in ten languages, with the most recent addition being Spanish.

This translation was made possible through the Cooperation Programme between Latin America and the European Union on Drugs Policies (COPOLAD), a partnership cooperation programme between the European Union (EU) and Latin America (LA).

The EDPQS have informed COPOLAD’s own efforts to establish quality criteria for demand reduction within the Iberoamerican countries. The translation of the EDPQS into Spanish was considered an essential step to help develop a shared vision of ‘quality in prevention’, involving also Spanish-speaking actors in prevention.

We’re especially pleased to have a Spanish version of the Quick Guide available, as our Spanish colleague Jesús Morán Iglesias was among the key initiators of the EDPQS project.

Further information about COPOLAD’s activities can be found on our “Related activities” page as well as on www.copolad.eu.

All resources to support use of the Standards can be found in our resources section and in our other languages section. See also the official EMCDDA web page on the quick guide.

Related work in Quality Standards and Best Practice #1: Mentor ADEPIS, UK

The aim of the European Drug Prevention Quality Standards (EDPQS) Phase II project is to help those involved in drug prevention feel better equipped to develop, support and implement high quality drug prevention work. The Project will be developing support materials for different groups working in the field of prevention to help them apply these Standards in their work practice.

The EDPQS project is an important initiative that offers a reference point to others working on quality standards and best practice in prevention. Equally, the Prevention Standards Partnership is able to learn and gain from related work that is taking place in other countries and regions.

Our Related activites section offers an overview of international activity that is being undertaken or recently undertaken to address the support for and development of “best practice” and the promotion of high quality drug prevention. The following is the first of a series of blogs to provide details of such activities at national or international level, starting with the ADEPIS initiative in the United Kingdom.


ADEPIS – The Alcohol and Drug Education and Prevention Information Service in the UK

http://mentor-adepis.org/

ADEPIS photo durham seminar

ADEPIS is a project funded by the Department for Education in England and run by Mentor UK, in partnership with two other organisations in the UK, DrugScope and Adfam.

ADEPIS provides a platform for sharing information and resources and is targeted at schools and practitioners working in drug and alcohol prevention. Launched in April 2013, it has undertaken a wide ranging mapping exercise with teachers, and developed a range of tools, briefing papers and guidance specific to alcohol and drug education and prevention.

Regional seminars have taken place to address effective drug and alcohol education; identifying and supporting vulnerable young people; and setting standards for drug and alcohol prevention and education.  Regional networking among schools, practitioners and academics has also been supported.

Mapping the experience of teachers

A mapping exercise was undertaken with teachers to identify how resources are chosen and used, the support currently available to practitioners and the perceived gaps. The findings, based on an online survey with 288 teachers (primary and secondary) and 20 follow-up telephone interviews, were drawn together into a report, which informed the development of ADEPIS.

Resources

ADEPIS has produced a number of resources for schools including:

  • a toolkit for helping schools review their alcohol and drug policies
  • a presentation and briefing for school governors to help them think about how their school can respond to alcohol and drug issues
  • a briefing paper to help schools identify and support children affected by parental substance misuse.

In addition, it has developed briefing papers which focus on topics that are current for schools such as caffeine and energy drinks, legal highs and e-cigarettes.

The project website has links to a range of resources and programmes, which includes evidence and research based programmes, lesson plans, research summaries, and government advice.

Drug and Alcohol Education Standards

The project offers proposed standards for alcohol and drug education.  These standards draw on existing national and international guidance, including the EDPQS, as well as examples of good practice in drug education and prevention.  They also reflect on feedback from teachers, practitioners and those who support school drug education in order to ensure that the standards provide the best current evidence and practice.

Each set of standards is being produced for a specific target group:

  1. Delivering drug education in the classroom as part of a planned PSHE (personal, social, health and economic education) programme: For primary and secondary schools, independent practitioners or anyone else delivering alcohol and drug education, in formal or informal environments.
  2. School context for effective drug education: For school leaders and governing bodies, as well as other members of staff in primary and secondary schools – including free schools, academies, private schools, and faith schools – responsible for, or involved in the delivery of alcohol and drug education or policy.
  3. Staff policies and safeguarding: For external agencies delivering drug education within schools and employing staff and/or volunteers.

The Seminars

Seminars were held to bring together practitioners and academics creating an arena for sharing ideas, perspectives and examples on different aspects of alcohol and drug education and prevention.

Presentations and resources produced for the seminars are all available on the ADEPIS website.

Future plans

The next seminar will look at practical ways to deliver effective drug education and prevention in primary schools through the promotion of healthy lifestyles and positive behavioural choices. Future work will also explore classroom management programmes and the use of theatre in education.

By bringing together theory and practice the focus will move on towards developing efficient needs assessment in schools. A briefing paper and seminar will outline the uses and pitfalls of needs assessment, suggestions on effective ways to employ data to implement drug education and prevention programmes, as well as how to use screening tools in schools.

For further information see http://mentor-adepis.org/

Andrew Brown
Programme Manager
Mentor UK