Lithuania Country Drug Report 2019

Quality assurance

Lithuania recently published a new National Programme for Control and Prevention of Drugs, Tobacco and Alcohol covering the next 10 years (2018-28). The programme emphasises the need to implement a system of accreditation for prevention programmes at the national level. This system is to be based on quality standards for action, aimed at improving the competences of education, social and healthcare institutions, including representatives of non-governmental organisations. The same strategy specifies that healthcare and social services will be science-based, accredited and cost-effective. Methods and tools will be made available to enable professionals to provide accessible, high-quality, cost-effective, accredited treatment, rehabilitation and reintegration services tailored to personal needs, including harm reduction services. An annual action plan to implement the drug strategy has also been published.

Tools for the implementation of these activities and the continuous improvement of quality include the development of a list of recommended prevention interventions (2017), the development of better access to healthcare services and the provision of harm reduction interventions. Local authorities are responsible for the accreditation of prevention programmes in the general education establishments, with the Ministry of Education and Science providing an overall methodological assistance. This assessment is based on seven criteria, and the programme can be rated as fully compliant, partially compliant or non-compliant. Only programmes rated as fully compliant are accredited and recommended for implementation. Prevention programmes rated as partially compliant receive recommendations and a deadline to improve/remove the identified shortcomings.

Specialised drug treatment is provided by healthcare establishments with a valid licence to provide mental health care. Since 2015, only licensed psychological social rehabilitation facilities have been permitted to provide rehabilitation services.

Government institutions provide education and specialised training for professionals working in the field of demand reduction. Activities to promote the European Prevention Quality Standards have been extensively carried out. The standards have been translated and published, and specialists have been trained on how to apply them.

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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.