For three days, from Monday 26 to Wednesday 28 April 2021, a NEPTUNE Clinical guidance on the Management of Acute and Chronic Harms of Club Drugs and New Psychoactive Substances training took place at the Training Centre of the Ministry of Justice, Tbilisi (Georgia) for psychiatrists and narcologists.
This training was organised by the Centre for Mental Health and Prevention of Addiction (CMHPA) Georgia, with the support of the EU4 Monitoring Drugs (EU4MD) Project of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) and the EU Action against drugs and organised crime (EU-ACT) Project.
This training was a continuation of the training for trainers sessions organised jointly by EU4MD and EU-ACT about the NEPTUNE Clinical guidance on the Management of Acute and Chronic Harms of Club Drugs and New Psychoactive Substances which were delivered by the Novel Psychoactive Treatment UK Network (NEPTUNE) team from the Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust, on-line, on 30th of July (appraisal meeting with the Georgian specialists), 7th of October 2020 (Section 1: introduction and executive summary), 12th of October (Section 2: depressants), 19th of October (Section 3: stimulants), and 3rd of November 2020 (Section 4: hallucinogens and synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists (SCRAs)).
The 26th-28th of April 2021 training session in Georgia was addressed to a group of 16 specialists from the CMHPA and private narcological facilities. The Georgian trainers were three of the CMHPA’s specialists who were trained by the NEPTUNE experts in the train-of-trainer’s sessions in 2020. The Deputy Director of the Centre for Mental Health and Prevention of Addiction (CMHPA), Mr. Guri Menabdishvili, opened the event. The opening and closing ceremonies were also attended remotely by representatives from EMCDDA, EU-ACT and NEPTUNE.
The EU-ACT team in Georgia attended, coordinated, and moderated the whole event at the Ministry of Justice training centre.
The representative of EMCDDA provided a short presentation on the role of this European monitoring centre. Professor Mr. Owen BOWDES-JONES and Doctor Ms. Dima Abdulrahim, from the NEPTUNE Project, provided and overview of the NPS Guidance and its development.
The training tackled the pharmacology, characteristics of acute and chronic toxicity and harm management of the NPS and Club drugs: depressants (GHB and GBL, synthetic opioids, phentanyl and its analogues, benzo-difurans); dissociative drugs (ketamine and its analogues, and nitrous oxide); hallucinogens; synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonists (SCRAs); NPS with primarily stimulant effects (MDMA and NPS with similar empathogenic effects, methamphetamine, and synthetic cathinone).
There was also a presentation on the National Drug Observatory of Georgia.
At the end of the last session there was a plenary discussion with simultaneous interpretation attended again by the NEPTUNE team where participants could raise questions directly to the NEPTUNE representative.
A second training similar to this one will take place with the same contents and trainers but to different attendants and in an on-line format due to more restricted COVID rules imposed in Georgia, on 5th-7th May 2021.