Back Experts from the Mediterranean region exchange experience on conducting school surveys on drug use and addictive behaviours

Experts from the Mediterranean region exchange experience on conducting school surveys on drug use and addictive behaviours

The Pompidou Group’s Mediterranean School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (MedSPAD) held its annual committee meeting on 17 April 2024 in the Council of Europe Office in Paris, France.

The meeting brought together 16 experts from Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Morocco, Palestine[1], Spain and Tunisia. Research coordinators from the Italian National Research Council (CNR), Libya as observer and representatives of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) and the European Parliament also participated in the meeting.

The objective of this year’s MedSPAD Committee meeting was to share experiences among the countries that have conducted a MedSPAD and the European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD) surveys, to gather information on the prevalence of substance use among adolescents and the impact of the findings in shaping national drug policies, focusing on the most recent surveys.

The discussion also focused on the challenges faced by field experts and professionals, such as the use and transposition of findings and research data into prevention policy, training of professionals involved in prevention, especially media representatives, as well as the follow-up and supervision of preventive actions.

Country representatives also presented notable examples of making use of MedSPAD survey findings: adopting and adjusting prevention interventions in schools and in treatment service provision, the early detection of problems such as excessive use of the Internet and video games discovering important gender disparities in psychoactive substance use, and using the data for awareness raising among key stakeholders.

In view of the importance of the usability and added value of data for prevention policy and practice, the Committee envisages to dedicate a specific chapter to this issue in the fifth MedSPAD regional report, due by the end of the year.

At this year’s Committee meeting, representatives from Jordan and Libya outlined their plan to launch MedSPAD in their respective country, with methodological guidance of the Pompidou Group and financial support from EMCDDA. Since its launch in 2008, MedSPAD was carried out in Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and Tunisia.

Disclaimer: The South Programme V "Protecting human rights, rule of law and democracy through shared standards in the Southern Mediterranean" is a joint programme between the European Union and the Council of Europe, co-financed by the two organisations and implemented by the Council of Europe


[1] This name should not be interpreted as recognition of State of Palestine, without prejudice to the position of each Council of Europe member state on this issue

Paris, France 17 April 2024
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