Expert meeting to examine implementation of evidence-based interventions on drugs

Experts in the implementation of evidence-based interventions from Europe and North America are gathering at the EMCDDA this week for the agency’s first technical meeting on ‘Pathways to implementation’. Implementing responses to drug problems is an important but often neglected area. Regardless of the evidence that exists to support the use of a response option, it is unlikely to be effective if it is implemented poorly (1). Over the course of two days (27–28 November), the experts will share their experience and implementation approaches.

During the meeting, the experts will identify and discuss with EMCDDA staff how the agency can best support practitioners and implementation agents in choosing the approaches that best address their needs. Attention will also be paid to the: taxonomy of definitions; role of standards, guidelines and training; and expansion of registries of evidence-based programmes, such as the EMCDDA’s Xchange prevention registry.

The expert meeting is aligned with the agency’s commitment to support practice, as outlined in the EMCDDA Strategy 2025. In addition, it builds on other EMCDDA projects that seek both to support the implementation of evidence-based interventions and to consolidate consensus on their importance. These include the: Best practice portal (which makes available online syntheses of evidence, examples of best practice and tools for implementation); the Health and social responses to drug problems: a European guide (2017); and engagement in the further implementation in Europe of training curricula (such as the European Universal Prevention Curriculum).

The meeting will result in the development of an expert group in the implementation of evidence-based interventions and in a publication on implementation approaches. Experts participating in this meeting include representatives of EU institutions; universities and institutes and scientific journals.