Pompidou Group - Co-operation Group to Combat Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking in Drugs

Brainstorming meeting with expert consultations on internet-based drug demand reduction interventions in the South East Europe

Drug Policy Cooperation in South East Europe continues to further explore opportunities to expand constructive dialogue and mutual exchanges through diverse activities. Brainstorming meeting with expert consultations on internet-based drug demand reduction interventions in the South East Europe, held in Belgrade from 28-29 September 2015, gave a brand new dimension to this regional initiative. It enabled an energetic discussion among participants from 10 SEE countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, FYROM, Greece, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, and Kosovo* as non-member state of the Council of Europe) which with the support of experts from Finland, Israel, Russian Federation and Slovenia, formulated a pilot project proposal on developing Internet-based interactive self-assessment tool for substance use related at user or risk target groups. In light of the results of this first project phase, a connected automated treatment and referral tool for personalized contact will be developed in the course of 2017.
That was the second regional meeting hosted by the Serbian Ministry of Health in the frame of the Drug Policy Cooperation in South East Europe. Mr Thomas Kattau, Deputy Executive Secretary, and Mr Vladimir Djukić, Deputy Minister of Health underlined in their opening statements importance of adapting drug policies to new trends and social features of new generations.

* All reference to Kosovo, whether to the territory, institutions or population, in this text shall be understood in full compliance with United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 and without prejudice to the status of Kosovo.

  Call for tenders

The Pompidou Group is searching for consultants able to provide high-level expertise on drug treatment systems in prisons.
Since 2010 the Pompidou Group conducted several projects focused on improving the overall situation of injecting drug users going through criminal systems in Eastern Europe. The main objective of the “Improving Drug Treatment Systems in Prisons” project planned for 2016- 2017 is to further improve health in penitentiaries with respect for human rights. The project aims at developing strategies of drug treatment and social re-insertion of drug using detainees in order to reduce recidivism. The project comprises a strong element of regional cooperation. The beneficiaries of the Project are penitentiary administrations and institutions in Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova, Serbia, Armenia and Georgia.

Find HERE more information on this tender

  First European Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies Conference

Mr Jan Malinowski, the Executive Secretary of the Pompidou Group chaired one of the sessions of the first European Conference on Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies organised by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) in Lisbon on 23-25 September. Expert presentations focused on a wide range of topics, including overdose deaths in the criminal justice system, the misuse of opiate substitution therapy in prisons, preventing “avoidable” deaths, the role that take-home naloxone and peer engagement can have in preventing drug-related deaths, and the link between the physical and psychological health of people who take drugs. Leading European and international experts in the field of addiction science discussed about new psychoactive substances, online sales and gambling, cannabis legalisation and alcohol pricing. The comprehensive and multi-disciplinary event featuring 16 keynote speeches, 200 oral presentations, around 140 rapid communications and a week-long array of satellite meetings, side-events and sponsored sessions gathered experts from 58 countries and provided a unique networking opportunity for researchers, practitioners and policy experts across countries and disciplines. 600 participants attended the first European Conference on Addictive Behaviours and Dependencies.  
  Is drug policy a choice between a rat cage and a rat paradise?

Reflections by Jan Malinowski, Executive Secretary of the Pompidou Group, on the occasion of the international day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking - 26 June.

“If we are confronted with different décors for drug-prone stress, neglect and hopelessness, against a possible backdrop of trauma – should the response not address the root cause with empathy, understanding and human warmth (the stereotypical: confront drugs with hugs) rather than stigmatisation and punishment?”

The topic has been covered in different languages. See the links below:


Acknowledging and exploring the Pompidou Group activities

During their 76th meeting (27-28 May 2015), the Pompidou Group’s Permanent Correspondents welcomed the first vigorous steps in the implementation of the work programme adopted by the Group’s November 2014 Ministerial Conference, and decided to hold a symposium on the latest developments and trends in drug policy later this year. The Permanent Correspondents explored possible contributions to the UN General Assembly Special Session on the world drug problem that will be held in April 2016, which should revolve around human rights aspects of drug policy, harm reduction and health care, and cooperation with civil society. They welcomed the numerous activities within the MedNet project (involving Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Malta, Morocco, Tunisia and the Palestinian National Authority) and cooperation in Ukraine and South East Europe, particularly addressing treatment for substance use disorders in prison, and were apprised of the upcoming law enforcement supply reduction events, in particular the longstanding Airports Group that will hold its 30th annual meeting in June 2015. The ongoing review of the European Drug Prevention Prize revealed that it is considered valuable and prestigious. The Permanent Correspondents discussed the Pompidou Group’s next steps in respect of drug policies’ cost-effect analysis, gender and drugs, and possible work on gambling-drug co-morbidity. They also heard about drugs in the workplace as a burden for employers but also an opportunity for treatment and a possible occupational disease.

Confronting precursor diversion and illicit production of synthetic drugs

A specific thematic debate on Methamphetamine production opened at the 8th meeting of the International Precursor’s Diversion Network in Prague on 16 – 18 September 2015. Production of Methamphetamine, a particularly dangerous drug for the public health, is increasing in several European countries, intelligence sources report. Law enforcement representatives from 31 European and non-European countries and seven International organisations such as Europol, the European Commission and various UN agencies exchanged information on the latest legal developments, discussed new trends in the manufacture of drugs and shared good practices of diverted chemicals intended for illegal drugs production seizure. Law enforcement representatives from Mexico and Australia informed participants on the trends, regulation and synthesis methods and shared their holistic approach on how to tackle precursor diversion and illicit production of synthetic drugs. Following the invitation of the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Mr Jan Malinowski, Executive Secretary of the Pompidou Group met Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka for a working meeting focusing on current drug related problems in the region in order to talk over recent developments of the international regime of drug control, including the precursors. 

A National Drug Observatory in full swing in Egypt

The round table in Cairo on 3 and 4 September gathered the stakeholders of the recently set up National Observatory: scientific board, Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Interior around the Director of the General Secretariat of Mental Health and Addiction Treatment. Representatives from France, Greece, Malta, Portugal and Norway as well as the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addictions shared their expertise on the development of drug observatories.
Getting evidence based information and developing human rights interventions in the field of drug is a prerequisite of the activities carried out in Egypt . This will be demonstrated in the first report of the Egyptian Drug Observatory to be published by the end of this year. 

Violence and drug use among women

The publication on "Gender dimension of non-medical use of prescription drugs in Europe and the Mediterranean region” contained a number of recommendations for researchers, professionals and policy-makers and also called for a better understanding of the problem of violence and drug use among women. Therefore a review of literature on violence (experienced or perpetrated) and psychoactive substance use among women in Europe and in the Mediterranean region was conducted. This review (bilingual document) is available online HERE.
The objective was to make an initial assessment of existing knowledge concerning the links between violence against women and psychoactive substance use among women and identify lines of research, and also to suggest guidelines for professional advice. Sixty three articles related to the issue of violence and the use of psychoactive substances among women, published in Belgium, Egypt, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Netherlands, Norway, Morocco, Spain and Sweden appear in this exploratory research.
In order to give this research an operational perspective, it is proposed to build on this work by consulting addiction treatment, risk and harm reduction professionals. Focus groups will be conducted in four countries: France, Italy, Portugal and Spain.
A seminar on “Women, drugs, and violence” will be organised in Rome on 10-11 December 2015 in cooperation with the Department for Anti-drug Policies of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers of Italy which will bring together professionals working in the treatment of addiction treatment, harm and risk reduction. The seminar will also serve as a forum for discussion between professionals and policy makers.

suite ARCHIVES (2015)

5, Paris
MedSPAD Committee 4th Meeting

6, Paris
2nd Bureau Meeting

6-9, Chisinau
Training III on TC methodology in prisons

suite Agenda 2015
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