EMCDDA Best Practice Portal

Best practice in drug interventions: what works and what doesn't work

"People like to go out… And we don't want to stop that. But, how can we make it safer? In the EMCDDA best practice portal we will tell you what works, and what doesn't work. We will give you all the scientific evidence, practice examples and tools and guidelines to find effective interventions. Find out what works in the areas of drug prevention, treatment, harm reduction and social reintegration. So what is your question?"

This is the text of a short video about EMCDDA's best practice portal; with this video the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) promotes its web-based best practice dissemination tool. The best practice portal is aimed at bridging together scientific evidence and current practices in the drug addiction field. Beyond dissemination of evidence, the scope is to share best practice among the European countries. 

As of May 2015, the portal encompasses five modules on the effectiveness of demand reduction interventions, including prevention, treatment, harm reduction and social integration. The last module is dedicated to emerging topics and only includes that of new psychoactive substances. In addition, each section is presented with a collection of European projects in these areas and an inventory of European guidelines and standards. 

The summaries of evidence are presented in a concise, plain language format and include brief statements of what remains unclear. In addition, readers have the possibility of examining the evidence for themselves, including references to studies and reviews and each section offers links to real-world examples highlighting a specific best practice in action.  Next to the latter section, related tools and resources including evaluation instruments are available. Finally, we might suggest to improve the "What does not work" section which is now often confined to merely stating that: "We are not aware of interventions that cause harm".

In conclusion, the EMCDDA's best practice portal appears to be a well-documented and well-presented service for all those willing to implement effective programs, although available only in the English language.