Sharing evidence to help prevent and reduce harm related to addiction is the focus of a workshop hosted by the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) in Lisbon this week. The two-day event, opening today, is organised by the European Agency for Health and Consumers (EACH) (1), in collaboration with the European Commission (Directorates-General for Justice and Health and Consumers).
The purpose of the workshop is to look at actions funded under the EU’s Health Programme (2008–13) and Drug Prevention and Information Programme (2007–13) (2), with a view to drawing on their results for the EMCDDA’s work and better disseminating their outcomes. Twenty-four European experts working on projects relating to drug and alcohol addiction and to prevention and harm reduction in nightlife settings will report on the findings of their work and highlight examples of best practice.
Specialists from the EMCDDA will present the online prevention and harm reduction profiles developed by the agency since 2010 (3) and discuss how the participating experts can contribute to these resources. Discussions will focus in particular on closing information gaps, improving processes for validating data at national level and increasing the visibility of the profiles. Representatives of the Reitox national focal points (4) will participate in the meeting in order to boost collaboration between the network and specific projects funded under the abovementioned programmes.
Three working groups will be organised during the workshop on the topics of: prevention; health and social responses; and best practice. These are designed to: identify and gather information that can be used to resolve information gaps in the EMCDDA profiles and make better use of research findings at national, regional and local level.
The conclusions of the workshop will be presented in a paper designed to publicise the results of projects funded under the above EU programmes. This will describe how better use can be made of the project outcomes and explore how the results obtained can inform policies at EU and national level.
(3) EMCDDA prevention profiles: The prevention profiles present what countries in Europe are doing to prevent illicit drug use and the level of provision of prevention measures. The harm reduction profiles describe countries’ key responses to prevent and reduce drug-related deaths and infectious diseases and drug-related harms in recreational settings.
(4) Reitox network