The Ministry of Health of the Republic of Serbia, with the support of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) organised a seminar for representatives of partner institutions and agencies on 27 and 28 October in order to establish operational Early Warning System on new psychoactive substances.
The aim of this seminar was to introduce European rules and standards for early warning on new psychoactive substances, as well as the establishment of this system in the Republic of Serbia. This is one of the obligations requested for in the EU accession process.
The representatives from CSOs were invited to participate in the part of the agenda concerning “Possibilities for development of regional network of early warning systems”. Among issues discussed was a research on benefits of developing mechanisms of local early warning systems, responsibilities of the participants in the system, coordination of regional early warning systems and communication with the National Early Warning System, cooperation and protocols on exchange of information, requests for training, and more.
In the fruitful discussion at the meeting, DPNSEE Staff alongside with NGO Re Generation expressed clear and direct concerns regarding early warning system due to a lack of nightlife outreach and harm reduction programs in recreational setting. Drug testing was once more mentioned, in the context of the legal framework, with suggestion for signing the protocol that will allow CSOs to collect certain amount of NPS for further research and testing.
Since NGOs are listed as the one of the crucial partners in the early warning system, because of their outreach activities and closer connection to the users groups, in the close communication with the Cécile Martel, Coordinator external partners and Ilze Jekabsone, Capacity development officer of the Reitox and international cooperation (RTX) unit EMCDDA, DPNSEE Stuff was asked to collect data available from their Member Organisations.
Data collected will be sent to EMCDDA representatives and presented at the EMCDDA, Extended Reitox network meeting in Lisbon, in November 2016. The topic of the meeting will be “Drugs and recreational settings / open air music festivals”.