Quality assurance in drug demand reduction in European countries: an overview

Marica Ferri, Sonia Dias, Alessandra Bo, Danilo Ballotta, Roland Simon, Giuseppe Carrá

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The EMCDDA, through its network of National Focal Points, collects information on the quality assurance systems for drugs-related interventions across European countries. European National Drug Strategies include recommendations for systems and approaches for the assurance of the quality of interventions. Methods: We searched National Drug Strategies for elements related to quality assurance in drug demand reduction and summarised information through questionnaires administered to the EMCDDA Network of National Focal Points. Results: In total, 15 National Drug Strategies and 60 questionnaires were analysed. Almost all the strategies include quality-related topics. Frequently, the Ministry of Health leads quality assurance although sometimes jointly with the Ministries of Education, Labour, Family and Social Welfare. Accreditation systems are common, but implemented in different ways. Training and education are widely provided, for the vast majority of countries, consisting of short-term training to keep professionals updated. Guidelines and Standards are gathering momentum as the major tools for the implementation of evidence-based recommendations and are usually available across countries. Conclusions: Although the evidence base for interventions in drug demand reduction is becoming available and accepted, attention needs to be given to implementation issues. The European countries are rapidly moving towards paying greater attention to the quality of interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalDrugs: Education, Prevention and Policy
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 28 Oct 2016


  • drug demand reduction
  • evidence base
  • National Drug Strategies
  • Quality assurance


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