AddictologyIssue 1/2023
Scientific article
Publication Date
Published by / Citation
Jerkovic, D., Novakova, E., Miovsky, M., & Vanderplasschen, W. (2023). Implementation of Quality Standards in drug demand reduction: Preliminary findings from the FENIQS-EU project. Adiktologie, 23(1), 09–16.
Partner Organisation
quality standards
harm reduction

Implementation of Quality Standards in Drug Demand Reduction: Preliminary Findings from the FENIQS-EU Project

INTRODUCTION: Quality Standards (QS) are an important priority in European drug policy, although the extent of their application remains unclear. The FENIQS-EU project (Further ENhancing the Implementation of Quality Standards in drug demand reduction across Europe) was set up to foster the use of QS. The objective of this paper is to present the main findings of the first 18 months of this project.

METHODS: A multi-method study design was used to assess the application of QS. It consisted of:

1) an online survey and brief interviews with key stakeholders in various areas of drug demand reduction across Europe;

2) the development of criteria and selection of examples of inspiring practices;

3) a Delphi study to reach consensus around successful QS implementation strategies.

RESULTS: QS have been implemented in the prevention domain, with the European Drug Prevention Quality Standards being the most commonly implemented standards. In the treatment/social reintegration domain, national standards and the Standards and Goals of Therapeutic Communities are most commonly used, while the EU Council conclusions on the implementation of minimum quality standards are primarily applied in the field of harm reduction. In total, 14 inspiring examples of practice were selected. Three rounds of a Delphi study resulted in consensus on successful implementation strategies, covering five core themes: collaboration, communication, support structure, education, and funding.

DISCUSSION: Despite the recognition that the implementation of QS is important, these efforts vary across European countries and are unevenly spread across DDR areas.

CONCLUSION: This paper focuses on the relevance of QS availability, and emphasises key factors influencing successful implementation.

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