About the Best practice portal

The Best practice portal is a resource for professionals, policymakers and researchers in the drugs 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.

The portal was originally developed to respond to the EU drugs action plan (2009–12). Today the portal responds to the EU Drugs Action Plan 2021-2025 and specifically the actions aimed at increasing the availability of evidence-based information and exchanging best practices.

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

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; members of the EMCDDA Scientific Committee; policymakers and top-level researchers in the areas of treatment, prevention and harm reduction.

Collaborations and patnerships with external organisations

Below are some of the ongoing collaborations and partnerships involving the EMCDDA's Best practice portal and external organisations.

The syntheses of evidence published in the Best practice portal are mainly based on the Cochrane systematic reviews of evidence.

The Campbell collaboration, a partner of the Cochrane collaboration, applies the methods of systematic reviewing to the areas of education, crime and justice, social welfare and international development.

The GRADE working group is a collaboration of methodologists that created a system to grade the evidence of interventions. We adopted this method to make our choices clear and reproducible.


While every effort is made to ensure that the information on this page is accurate and up to date, please note that it is not a substitute for the exercise of professional or clinical judgement and we do not intend you to rely upon it when making (or refraining from making) any clinical or individual decision. For more information, please see the Disclaimer in our legal notice.