Breaking the Drug Cycle - ISEC

2015 to 2016

In January 2015 Hungarian Interchurch Aid has launched an EU-funded model program in cooperation with several partner organizations. The results and news linked to this 24-month program being realized under HIA’s management as a lead applicant will be continuously published here on this sub-page. The methodology of data collection, the first 10-month analyzed results and the main conclusions can be downloaded here. The 10-month results of the laboratory analysis can be seen here.

Program objectives: 

• Promoting the implementation of the European Pact against Synthetic Drugs 
• Enhancing identification and risk analysis of new psychotropic substances 
• Speeding up information exchange in respect of new psychoactive substances among national authorities, NGOs, EMCDDA and other EU agencies 
• Developing cooperation between organizations involved in care for addicts 
• Collecting up-to-date information on new drug consumption trends among NPS users and forwarding it to the early warning system (EMCDDA)
• Preparing a transnational cross-border grant application based on project results 

During the program drug waste left behind by injection drug users in public spaces or returned to needle exchange service providers is being collected and the Toxicology Laboratory of the University of Debrecen tests and analyzes the substances found in drug waste under laboratory conditions. Monthly reports are prepared on the results which are forwarded to the National Drug Focal Point that sends it to EMCDDA (European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction) thus improving the efficiency of the early warning system. 
Some of the project locations (Békéscsaba, Budapest, Debrecen, Miskolc, Szeged) are situated close to the Romanian or Serbian border and it allows cross-border comparison of the results. Sample collection is performed by organizations that have direct contacts with drug users in the five cities for years. Collection of drug waste/used needles contributes to testing of significant amount of drugs. Due to the selection of the five county seats it may also be surveyed to what extent the different regions are affected. The National Drug Focal Point and project partners get immediate information on the results thus partners involved in the sample collection can have an insight into local drug use.  The National Focal Point sends the results to the competent EU organ (EMCDDA) as well. 
This kind of information-gathering is a major step forward for the country: information obtained on new psychoactive substances spreads much faster – sample collection can also be extended to a wider circle.  

The program lasts from 1 January 2015 to 31 December 2016. Following a three-month preparatory period, a monthly 1750 samples are taken to the laboratory where 250 substance tests are performed monthly. Test reports are prepared on the results each month; these are forwarded to as many organizations affected in this issue as possible (social and health institutions, law enforcement agencies, international partners).  We have undertaken to conduct 5000 laboratory tests, make 20 test reports and a final study during 20 months based on 35 000 samples. During the two years 6 professional workshops and an international conference are organized.

 National organizations participating in the project: 
• Hungarian Interchurch Aid’s two institutions: HIA’s Debrecen Social and Development Center; HIA’s Addictology Center in Soroksár (Budapest) 
• ArtEra Alapítvány (ArtEra Foundation), Budapest
• Dr. Farkasinszky Terézia Ifjúsági Drogcentrum (Youth Drug Center), Szeged
• Mi-Értünk Prevenciós és Segítő Egyesület (Association for Drug Prevention and Support), Békéscsaba
• Drogambulancia Alapítvány (Drug Outpatient Treatment Unit Foundation, Miskolc)

The Toxicology Laboratory of the Institute of Forensic Medicine of the Debrecen University’s Clinical Center is involved as a sub-contractor in the project, while the National Data Collection and Contact Center in Drug Issues (National Drug Focal Point, Budapest) takes part in dissemination of project results.

Grant Application ID: JUST/2013/ISEC/DRUGS/AG/6418

The project is funded by EU.