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Drugnet Europe News from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction — January–March 2010

Best practice portal: upcoming developments

picture of a key being given

In 2009, the EMCDDA launched in the ‘Evidence of efficacy’ section of its Best practice portal, two new areas dedicated to pharmacological and psychological treatments for drug use. These areas are now being restyled and reshaped in a process due for completion in June 2010.

Following the redesign, information will no longer be divided into pharmacological and psychological categories, but will be grouped under the general heading ‘Treatment’.

In practice, this will result in a shift in focus away from the substance and towards the drug user. Rather than being organised around opiates, stimulants or cannabis, for example, treatment information will be presented according to the type of drug user and how they are treated in Europe today (pharmacologically and psychologically). In so doing, the evidence on treatment effectiveness in Europe is contextualised, thereby fulfilling one of the main goals of the portal.

Under this new format, treatments will also be ranked (i.e. as ‘beneficial’, ‘likely to be beneficial’, ‘trade-off between beneficial and harm’, and ‘unproven effectiveness’). This ranking is based on documents provided by organisations such as the Cochrane Collaboration, and on cooperation with a qualified editorial committee, including representatives of the EMCDDA Scientific Committee.

Launched in May 2008, the Best practice portal is designed to help those working in the areas of prevention, treatment, harm reduction and social reintegration take evidence-based decisions when planning interventions. It offers professionals, policymakers and researchers an array of tools and standards to improve the quality of interventions and provides examples of evaluated practice across Europe.

Marica Ferri

Drugnet Europe is the EMCDDA's newsletter launched in September 1996. The newsletter provides regular and succint information on the Centre's projects and activities to a broad readership.

Page last updated: Thursday, 11 March 2010