Drug use among teenagers in the Mediterranean is being revealed by the MedSPAD survey
Within the MedSPAD project, which was an adaptation of the European ESPAD school surveys to the Mediterranean context, MedSPAD surveys were conducted in Lebanon in 2008, in Morocco in 2009, 2013 and 2017, in Tunisia in 2013 and 2017, and in Algeria and Egypt in 2016, demonstrating the importance of this instrument for recording the drug use of young people in school and their attitudes towards drug use.
The MedSPAD committee published a report in 2015 on the prevalence of alcohol, tobacco and drug use among adolescents. This is the only report to date which covers data from nine countries: Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Morocco, Malta, Portugal and Tunisia. This is a first step and a first attempt to present data from Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. In 2017 a second report covering 12 countries and in 2019 a third report were published.
Observatories on drugs and addictions are being created in the Mediterranean region
The Moroccan Observatory on Drugs and Addiction published its first report in 2015. The Egyptian Observatory on Drugs and Addiction has developed a data collection system on treatment and will publish its first report in 2018.
The Lebanese Observatory on Drugs and Addiction published its first report in 2018.
The TDI (Treatment Demand Indicator) is also available in Arabic.
Legislation on drugs is evolving and national drug strategies are developed
A National Substance Use Strategy was launched in Beirut on 22 December 2016 with the Pompidou Group’s support for its development and implementation in 2017.
Targeted prevention activities are being implemented
Prevention material is being produced in Morocco, an advice and information centre for young people was created in Lebanon, a life skills programme was set up in schools in Lebanon, and staff working in the nightlife industry have undergone prevention training.
Capacity building is multiplying
Specialists are being trained, courses on addiction studies have been created in Morocco and Tunisia, training seminars in Algeria have been organised. In 2017, Egypt has established a national board for accreditation and certification of addiction counsellors.
Co-operation in the field of law enforcement is being extended
The MedNET member countries participate in the Pompidou Group’s law enforcement activities.
Access to care for all drug users is being improved
Opioid substitution treatment was introduced in Morocco and Lebanon. In Algeria, Opioid Substitution Treatment is being launched in a pilot phase. Specialised services for women are being created in Egypt and services for teenagers are being developed in Egypt.
The gender dimension is being gradually integrated into drug policy
Specific needs of women are taken into account.
The human rights dimension of drug policy is being discussed
The first report on human rights and people who use drugs covering 17 MedNET countries is published.