Revision of problem drug use indicator
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Revision of Problem Drug Use indicator. Danica Klempová and Julián Vicente 42nd Reitox HFP meeting, 27 May 2010. Overview. 1. Rationale 2. Steps already taken 3. Steps planned 4. Possible impact of FPs workload. Rationale.

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Revision of Problem Drug Use indicator

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Revision of Problem Drug Use indicator

Danica Klempová and Julián Vicente

42nd Reitox HFP meeting, 27 May 2010


1. Rationale

2. Steps already taken

3. Steps planned

4. Possible impact of FPs workload


  • PDU as defined until now more suitable for estimating the size of populations of heavy, chronic heroin users

  • Changing drug situation in Europe (i.e. emergence of new populations like heavy/dependent cocaine users or cannabis users in need of treatment) requires rethinking

  • Both conceptual and methodological problem (classical PDU data sources might not be the best to access these newly emerged populations)

  • Demands from FPs, policy makers; EU Drug Action Plan

Steps already taken

  • 2 lines of work: 1) maintain and improve current work, 2) update the concept of the area and develop methods beyond PDU

  • Presentations and discussions at expert meetings

  • 2009 PDU annual expert meeting – issues summarised, some solutions proposed, ppt used as a basis for a “Delphi method” among PDU national experts – unfortunately low response rate

  • (Planned special session with some Scientific Committee members in April 2010 – cancelled)

  • A bulk of work ongoing in parallel with GPS experts – monitoring heavy/dependent/problem cannabis use, now stage of validation studies in several countries, European analysis

Steps planned

  • Review the conceptual basis of the current definition (e.g. operationalisation of definition elements – “regular” and “long-term”, in line with international classifications, flexibility in changing conditions, harm thresholds, etc.)

  • Work with a smaller “working group” – national experts + other scientists

  • Present the results to the broader group for discussion before taking any decisions

  • Multidisciplinary, longer-term process, stimulating research

  • Work on monitoring problem cannabis use

    • Develop Recommendations (definitions, methods, minimum prevalence, etc.) based on the work done

    • 2011: validation study by indirect methods

Possible impact of FPs workload in the next 5 years

  • National experts and scientists can be asked to participate in the working group, give comments or discuss certain topic at the PDU annual expert meeting

  • In interested countries, some feasibility studies or pilot research may be conducted

  • In 2011 or 2012, Recommendations might be given to all countries with cannabis past year use prevalence greater than small to include short cannabis scales

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