Czechia Country Drug Report 2019

Quality assurance

The National Drug Policy Strategy action plan for illicit drugs for 2016-18 defines a number of activities that are related to the quality assurance system. There are several guidelines governing the operation of centres, facilities and programmes providing services in the field of drugs. These guidelines are primarily embodied in the certification standards of the Government Council for Drug Policy Coordination (GCDPC), which have been in place since 2006. Compliance with these standards is tested as part of the certification process. Conceived as an interagency instrument, these guidelines currently cover a wide range of health and social services, including services provided by external agencies in prisons. Guidelines on diagnosis-based procedures include the Recommended Treatment Procedures for Addiction Disorders and Pathological Gambling and the Health Ministry’s standards for opioid substitution treatment.

The GCDPC coordinates the system of quality assurance. An external agency carries out audits as part of the certification process, but the GCDPC makes the final decision on certification. Funding is provided mainly from the state budget, but service providers interested in the audit can co-fund the costs. The accreditation certificate is valid for 3 years. Accredited services are published in a public list.

Substantial efforts have been made in recent years to enhance the quality of primary prevention programmes by standardisation, certification and training, and sharing experiences and best practices. The certification system for prevention programmes exists in parallel with that of the GCDPC and, to date, Czechia remains the only country in the world to have introduced a certification system for prevention programmes.

A medical specialisation in the treatment of alcoholism and other addictions has been available in Czechia since 1980. In addition, addictology was introduced as an interdisciplinary field of study in 2005 (bachelor’s and later master’s degrees and doctoral programmes), which led to the establishment of the profession of addictologist in 2008.

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Methodological note: Analysis of trends is based only on those countries providing sufficient data to describe changes over the period specified. The reader should also be aware that monitoring patterns and trends in a hidden and stigmatised behaviour like drug use is both practically and methodologically challenging. For this reason, multiple sources of data are used for the purposes of analysis in this report. Caution is therefore required in interpretation, in particular when countries are compared on any single measure. Detailed information on methodology and caveats and comments on the limitations in the information set available can be found in the EMCDDA Statistical Bulletin.