4th training session about the guidance on the Management of Acute and Chronic Harms of Club Drugs and Novel Psychoactive Substances.


On the 3rd of November 2020, the fourth session of a series of four train the trainers’ sessions about the Guidance on the Management of Acute and Chronic Harms of Club Drugs and Novel Psychoactive Substances took place, organised jointly by the EU-ACT Action against drugs and organised crime Project, and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).

The previous sessions were held on the 7th, 12th, and 19th October 2020. These sessions consist of a ‘Champions’ training on adaptation of the training package to the national needs of the beneficiary countries: (Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Belarus, and Pakistan). The participants, which are national specialists on drug addiction treatment, join this training activity from their individual laptops or mobile phones, at home, through an on-line application. The training is held in English with simultaneous interpretation to Russian, while the chat is used to submit questions in English or Russian languages.

The objectives are: to train selected national experts ‘Champions’ on the NEPTUNE (Novel Psychoactive Substances UK Network) guidance and training package; to discuss the national relevance of the updated guidance based on a first feedback from the national ‘Champions’; and to discuss the preparation of the follow up trainings in the five participating countries.

Dr Owen Bowden Jones (UK), and Dr Dima Abdulrahim (UK), NEPTUNE Project, at Central and North West London National Health Service Foundation Trust, are the usual trainers. It counts also on the participation of EMCDDA and EU-ACT representatives. This session has also had the presence of Dr Thomas Nefau, from EMCDDA, as a trainer.

In this forth session, the following modules have been delivered:

- Module 10: Hallucinogenic drugs; acute and chronic harms and their management.

- Module 11: Synthetic Cannabinoid Receptor Agonists (SCRA); acute and chronic harms and their management.

- European Early Warning system (Dr Thomas Nefau, EMCDDA).

- Way forward, with interventions by country teams, and next steps.

Now, it is up to the national ‘champions’ to decide on the way forward. In general terms, the participants coincided in the next steps:

  • To have the NPS & Club drugs guidance adapted to their national needs and get it published in their national languages.
  • To organised trainings for psychiatrists, narcologists (“addictologists”), and toxicologic departments at health centres for patients with acute intoxications caused by drugs.
  • To endeavour to have this training recognised by the Ministries of Education and to introduce it in the University curricula; and by the Ministries of Health, as this guidance is intended to constitute a bases to develop national protocols for the management of acute and chronic harms of club drugs and novel psychoactive substances.

The EU-ACT Project will continue to help the ‘Champions’ within the countries covered by this Project to adapt this guidance to their national needs and to publish their own guidance in their national language, as well as to spread this knowledge to the relevant institutions at national level.