Polish Reitox Focal Point EMCDDA (PRFP)

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“National Focal Points” or “National Drug Observatories” are designated national institutions or agencies responsible for data collection and reporting on drugs and drug addiction. Those are members of Reitox network which includes each of the 27 EU Member States plus Norway, Turkey and the European Commission. One of them – Polish Reitox Focal Point – is a project partner in ASAP Training project and here you can read more about their mission, activities and important role they have in establishing prevention system in their country.

Polish Reitox Focal (PRFP) Point EMCDDA (Centrum Informacji o Narkotykach i Narkomanii: https://cinn.gov.pl/portal?id=1 has operated in the framework of the National Bureau for Drug Prevention (Ministry of Health agency) since 2001. Similarly to Focal Points in other countries, it is responsible for monitoring the drug problem and closely cooperates with the EMCDDA (http://www.emcdda.europa.eu). The PRFP produces an annual report on drugs and measures taken in the field. The latest issue in English is available at https://cinn.gov.pl/portal?id=15&res_id=1584022. The mission of the PRFP is to analyse the drug situation in Poland, as well as apply and promote the best practice in drug prevention in Poland and Europe. To this end, the Polish Reitox Focal Point actively participates in international projects such as ASAP or COPOLAD II. Activities at national level also form an important element of our work. The Focal Point supports research (annual research competitions), local governments (annual conferences and promoting local drug assessments) and evidence-based prevention (promotion of the European standards through publications and lectures). Recently, we have been preparing the ASAP side event to be held at the 63rd CND session on 6 March in Vienna. The side event is being organized by Polish government in collaboration with ALISA Region Liguria, EMCDDA, UNODC and European Commission.

The tasks of the Polish Reitox Focal Point (PRFP) are set out in the Act on counteracting drug addiction, which is the principal drug response document in Poland. The Act also defines tasks for local and regional governments, which fulfil a vital role in counteracting drug addiction in Poland. Local and regional governments (almost 2500 urban and rural ‘gminas’ as well as 16 voivodships) develop and implement local addiction response strategies and based on the strategies subsequently finance local addiction response programmes. The Polish Reitox Focal Point promotes the implementation of local drug assessments as a starting point for the identification of problems and development of effective activities under local strategies. The European Drug Prevention Quality Standards (EDPQS) can help local and regional governments in implementing effective local drug prevention programmes both in Poland and abroad.

The system of recommended drug prevention programmes established by the National Bureau for Drug Prevention in collaboration with other central institutions was used to develop the EDPQS. Consequently, the implementation of recommended programmes corresponds to the implementation of the European standards in Poland. Qualified personnel constitute an important element of the effective drug response measures. Therefore, for many years the PRFP has been training and educating local government officials in conducting effective addiction prevention policies at local level. Polish local governments annually spend over EUR 150 million on counteracting addictions (especially prevention). That is why it is so important that local government officials be well-prepared for such activities. The ASAP project is another tool to strengthen human resources in this area in Poland.

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