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Moore, Joan (2011) From Drugnet Europe. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 37, Spring 2011, p. 28.

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Best practice: What it is, what it isn’t
Cited from article by Marica Ferri in Drugnet Europe, No 73, January–March 2011 

‘Best practice is the best application of available evidence to current activities in the drugs field.’ This is according to a group of experts tasked with developing a working definition of the concept when responding to drug use. ... According to the definition agreed, five points should be considered before applying the term best practice to an intervention, namely:
·      underlying evidence should be relevant to the problems and issues affecting those involved (professionals, policymakers, drug users, their families);
·      methods should be transparent, reliable and transferable and all appropriate evidence should be considered in the classification process;
·      experience in implementation, adaptation and training should be systematically collected and made available;
·      contextual factors should be studied by modelling different prevalence levels so as to assess the impact of an intervention on the population; and
·      evidence of effectiveness and feasibility of implementation should both be considered for the broader decision-making process.
Highlighted in the discussions were the many factors to be taken into account when identifying and promoting best practice, such as how to export experiences to different contexts.
Measuring cannabis dependence in the general population
Cited from article by Danica Klempová in Drugnet Europe, No. 73, January–March 2011
The EMCDDA estimates that there are at least 4 million Europeans (1 % of all adults) using cannabis on a daily or almost daily basis. Most of these are males, reaching up to 5–7 % of young men (15–34 years) in some countries.
Studies show that between a third and one half of daily cannabis users fulfil dependence criteria. In order to formulate adequate policies and responses in this field, a reliable and valid measure of cannabis dependence or abuse in the population is essential. The EMCDDA is currently collaborating with national experts1 to develop a common European measurement methodology, with results expected at the end of the year.
Pioneering work in this area began in 2002 in some countries2 where psychometric scales — short instruments to assess heavier patterns of drug use — were incorporated into population surveys and tested. Results of this work were reported regularly to the EMCDDA expert group on ‘Prevalence and patterns of drug use among the general population’. In recent years, the EMCDDA has actively promoted and supported the translation, adaptation and validation of such scales in additional countries, in pursuit of a common European approach.
1. Czech Republic, Germany, Ireland, Spain, France, Italy, Hungary, the Netherlands
2. Germany, France, the Netherlands, Poland — see Drugnet Europe No. 63 and No. 67.
Drugnet Europe is the quarterly newsletter of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), and is available at www.emcdda.europa.eu
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