The human rights dimension of drug policy is discussed

A comprehensive report on the human rights situation and people who use drugs covering 18 MedNET countries served as a background document for a discussion on how to reduce the stigma surrounding vulnerable populations in the region.

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 Drug use among teenagers in the Mediterranean is explored through MedSPAD surveys

The European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD) was adapted to the Mediterranean context within the MedSPAD project. MedSPAD surveys were conducted in Lebanon in 2008 and 2021, in Morocco in 2009, 2013, 2017 and 2021, in Tunisia in 2013, 2017 and 2021, in Algeria in 2016, in Egypt in 2016 and in 2020. In 2021, despite the pandemic, MedSPAD was conducted in Morocco and Tunisia using updated methodology, thus providing an important instrument for obtaining information about drug use and addictive behaviours among young people in school and their attitudes to drugs.

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 MedNET has facilitated the creation of observatories on drugs and addictions to ensure systematic collection of data on drug use in the region

With funding from MedNET, the Moroccan Observatory on Drugs and Addiction published its first-ever report on drug use in 2015. Thanks to training courses run by MedNET, the Egyptian Observatory on Drugs and Addiction and the Lebanese Observatory on Drugs and Addiction have further improved their treatment data collection system, and published their findings in 2018.
The Treatment Demand Indicator (TDI) was made available in Arabic within the framework of MedNET co-operation, thus supporting the development of observatories in the Mediterranean region and making it possible to collect data from different sources: from both the demand and the supply side.

 Legislation on drugs is evolving and national drug strategies are being developed

A National Substance Use Strategy was launched in Beirut on 22 December 2016 with MedNET’s support and with a view to further development and implementation in 2017.
MedNET carried out activities that have largely paved the way for the development in 2021 of the National strategy for prevention, harm reduction and management of substance use disorders in the community and in prisons 2021 – 2025 in Tunisia, called A health and human rights response to drug use.

 Targeted prevention activities are being implemented

With funding from MedNET, Morocco produced a handbook for civil society organisations involved in drug prevention work. In addition, an advice and information centre for young people was set up in Lebanon, a life skills programme funded by MedNET was introduced in schools and staff working in the nightlife industry have undergone prevention training.

Trainings have been implemented to strengthen the capabilities of addiction specialists

Specialists are being trained, courses on addiction studies have been created in faculties of medicine in Morocco (Casablanca, Rabat, Marrakech and Tangiers), in Tunisia (Monastir, Sfax and Tunis) and in Lebanon (Beirut). Training seminars have been held in Algeria as well. In 2017, with the support of MedNET, a national board for accreditation and certification of addiction counsellors was set up in Egypt.

 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 people who use drugs is being improved

MedNET seminars, study visits and training contributed to the introduction of opioid agonist treatment in Morocco and Lebanon. In Algeria, thanks to support provided by MedNET, opioid agonist treatment is now being piloted in two treatment and care centres.

In 2023, a multy-country study visit to a model of recovery in Italy for Algeria, Egypt, Jordan Lebanon Morocco, Palestine and Tunisia made it possible to discover the Italian model for addiction treatment and recovery through an exchange of knowledge and good practices.

 The gender dimension is gradually being integrated into drug policy

In MedNET countries, the creation of specific treatment and care services for women in Egypt and in Tunisia is contributing to the development of more gender-sensitive drug policies.