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Moore, Joan (2012) Drugs in focus – policy briefing. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 43, Autumn 2012, p. 32.

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Drug demand reduction: global evidence for local actions
Cited from Drugs in focus, No. 23, 1st issue 2012 

The development of evidence‑based demand reduction interventions is a primary drug policy objective at national, European Union (EU) and global level. A particular discourse, with its own set of concepts, is used to discuss implementation of this objective, including terms such as: best practice, quality standards, guidelines, protocols, accreditation systems and benchmarking. This paper provides readers with straightforward definitions of the terms used, whilst highlighting achievements and current challenges in transferring scientific knowledge into practice in the drug demand reduction arena. A special focus is given to ‘best practice’ because of this concept’s increasing popularity and importance in Europe.
The briefing concludes with a series of policy considerations:
 1. Different tools are used to promote evidence‑based practices in drug demand interventions, such as guidelines and quality standards. Nationally, dissemination and adaptation of already existing evidence‑based guidelines, rather than developing new ones, is proving to be a cost effective solution that helps to ensure quality.
2. In the future, processes need to be in place to ensure that existing guidelines and standards are regularly updated as and when new evidence becomes available. In addition, the ongoing promotion and dissemination of guidelines and standards among professionals and decision‑makers is a key issue. Despite recent increases in the availability of scientific evidence on the effectiveness (and ineffectiveness) of drug‑related interventions, gaps still exist and research is required to fill these gaps. A European research agenda which gives priority to questions linked to both the effectiveness of interventions, and to improving the research‑practice interface, would be greatly welcomed.
3. The EMCDDA with its experience in monitoring and disseminating best practice will continue to promote and support quality improvement in the European drugs field. Proactive dissemination of evidence, mentoring of guidelines adaptation, support in goal setting and impact evaluation and fostering the exchange of experiences are some of the activities we will continue to provide to stakeholders. www.emcdda.europa.eu/publications/drugs-in-focus
Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
All substances
Issue Title
Issue 43, Autumn 2012
Page Range
p. 32
Health Research Board
Issue 43, Autumn 2012
Accession Number
HRB (Electronic Only)

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