Cyprus Country Drug Report 2019

Quality assurance

The Cyprus National Addictions Authority (NAAC) is responsible for the accreditation, evaluation and coordination (as well as part of the funding) of all programmes, actions and activities related to psychoactive substances offered by governmental services, non-governmental organisations and the private sector. The NAAC also draws up the methodological guidelines and specifications for prevention and treatment programmes.

One of the aims of the current national strategy is the strengthening of treatment programme effectiveness; to that end, the NAAC has commissioned an external evaluation of treatment services in Cyprus. The most recent evaluation included process and cost evaluations for each treatment centre as well as an outcome evaluation for the treatment system.

Prevention and treatment guidelines have been developed that assure the nationwide implementation of minimum drug treatment and drug prevention quality standards, which also apply to the prison. These guidelines were updated in 2018 to reflect the most recent developments and evidence. They incorporate, among other things, the European minimum quality standards for drug demand reduction.

The national legislation requires that all prevention and treatment programmes in the field of drug use be submitted to the NAAC for operational accreditation and possibly funding. For programmes to be able to operate, they need to follow the prevention and treatment guidelines that are set out by the national strategy. No further formal accreditation system for drug demand service providers is in place.

Continuing education is provided by the Ministry of Health and the NAAC. In recent years, training on the administration of opioid substitution treatment, psychiatric comorbidity, drug treatment in prison and the clinical assessment tool the European Addiction Severity Index has been implemented. The new Action Plan 2017-20 (NAAC 2017) includes actions that ensure the creation of a multidisciplinary treatment team and the sharing of ‘good practice’ among treatment centres, as well as actions addressing minors at risk, such as strengthening interministerial cooperation and creating a guesthouse for minor drug users without a support system.

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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.