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About the Best practice portal

Best practice definition

‘Best practice is the best application of available evidence to current activities in the drugs field.

  • underlying evidence should be relevant to the problems and issues affecting those involved(professionals, policymakers, drug users, their families);
  • methods should be transparent, reliable and transferable and all appropriate evidence should be considered in the classification process;
  • experience in implementation, adaptation and training should be systematically collected and made available;
  • contextual factors should be studied by modelling different prevalence levels so as to assess the impact of an intervention on the population; and
  • evidence of effectiveness and feasibility of implementation should both be considered for the broader decision-making process.'

This definition was agreed by a group of experts including the Chairman of the EMCDDA Management Board João Goulão; members of the EMCDDA Scientific Committee; policymakers; and top-level researchers in the areas of treatment, prevention and harm reduction. 

Best practice portal

The Best practice portal is a resource for professionals, policymakers and researchers in the drug field. We provide information on the available evidence on drug-related prevention, treatment and harm reduction, focusing on the European context. The evidence is compiled following an explicit methodological process, and is presented according to client profiles. The client profiles are designed according to the European data on illicit drug users collected at the EMCDDA. Currently, the ‘profiles’ are organised around the main substance of use. We acknowledge that in reality people often use multiple drugs, and the interventions provided might reflect this. We are therefore working on how best to accommodate this aspect in future. In the portal we also provide an overview of the available quality standards and guidelines in the European Union (EU) Member States.

The portal was developed to respond to the EU drugs action plan (2009–12) and specifically to ‘enhance the quality and effectiveness of drug demand reduction activities, taking account of specific needs of drug users according to gender’. In particular, actions 17 and 19 aimed at exchanging ‘good practice guidelines/quality standards for prevention, treatment, harm reduction and rehabilitation interventions and services’ and ‘to develop an EU consensus on minimum quality standards and benchmarks for prevention, treatment, harm reduction and rehabilitation’.

The portal will be continuously updated as information and research on interventions emerges.


  • Alan Lodwick
  • Angelina Brotherhood
  • Artur Malczewski
  • Ave Tallu
  • Charlotte Davies
  • Elias Allara
  • Fabrizio Faggiano
  • Franz Trautman
  • Joao Goulao
  • John Strang
  • Laura Amato
  • Marina Davoli
  • Marion Weigl
  • Maurizio Coletti
  • Michael Farrell
  • Peer Van der Kreeft
  • Richard Velleman
  • Tim Pfeiffer-Gerschel


Page last updated: Monday, 22 July 2013