Leading European and international experts in the field of new psychoactive substances met in Lisbon from 11–12 May for the First international multidisciplinary forum on new drugs. Ahead of the event, EMCDDA Director Wolfgang Götz referred to the dynamic nature of the new drugs phenomenon and the timeliness of an event of this kind. ‘The purpose of the forum is to arrive at a comprehensive vision for the future regarding how these substances will impact on drug use, responses and policies’, he said.
The aim of the forum was to take stock of the current state of the art in this area and identify common anchor points to inform future actions. The programme focused on early-warning systems, risk assessments and controls, as well as options for prevention and treatment. In discussions, the experts traced how this phenomenon has developed over the last 10 years and compared, through case studies, differing national experiences. The 100-strong forum included: forensic scientists; epidemiologists; clinicians; law-enforcement experts concerned with new drugs; as well as technical staff from EU and international institutions.
The forum was organised in conjunction with the 11th Annual meeting of the EMCDDA–Reitox early-warning system (EWS) network. The EWS provides EU Member States with an information exchange mechanism for reporting on the emergence of new psychoactive substances. It is a key element in the European fast-track system for assessing and responding to new drugs.
Roumen Sedefov and Ana Gallegos
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