CANNABMED Congress in Barcelona

“Briding the gap between medical cannabis and patients”

Mid of May, our Spanish network Partner, Public Health Agency of Catalonia, is inviting to the only event in Spain dedicated to education and dialogue on medicinal cannabis.

The CANNABMED congress will enrich the conversation about the regulation of medicinal cannabis and give visibility to the concerns and demands of the affected group. In this second edition, patients will be centre stage and the event will also have special interest for health professionals.

The congress also seeks to offer training – based on the best available evidence – to health care professionals that will bridge the gap between patients, activists, scientists, media, and policy-makers.

Days: Friday 11 and Saturday 12 of May 2018

More information and programme:

20 years “prevention peers” in Upper Austria

At the end of last year the school “HBLW Linz” had reasons for celebration:

The school was honored by the Austrian euro net member Institut Suchtprävention for its special engagement in the field of peer education. Since the beginning of the school’s peer project in 1997, they have trained on average 6 pupils each year. The training has been implemented in cooperation with the Institut Suchtprävention. Its main focus is addiction prevention.

The peer project has been initiated by Ms. Dipl. Päd. Ilse Surenjan. As a result of her engagement, the peer project is still active at the HBLW Linz. Last month, Ms. Surenjan celebrated her retirement and was surprised with special guests: former peers and the director of Institut Suchtprävention Christoph Lagemann expressed their gratitude. They appreciated her exemplary commitment as the coordinator of the peer project for more than two decades.

Background: Within the peer project, selected pupils of 9th and 10th grade are getting trained in the field of addiction prevention. After this training, they are sharing their experiences and their know-how with their classmates – not as “young teachers” but through their attitude and behaviour in class, at events and simply when spending time together.

“Strengthening families”: a new offer from our Austrian member Institut Suchtprävention

From this spring on, the Institut Suchtprävention offers the program “strengthening families”, for families, going through a challenging stage – puberty. It is a time with several changes. What worked in cohabitation yesterday, might not work today. Conflicts in the family increase and often the whole family comes in situations, where it is difficult to talk.
“Strengthen families” is a program that supports families in these situations. The family spends time together in a pleasant environment. “Strengthening families” will be conducted by prevention experts, it includes films, games, practical exercises and discussions. Parents learn what it means for their children to come of age, what they feel, what they think and how they act. As well they learn how to find common solutions for familiar problems and –at the same time- express love and appreciation. One of the main topics is how to counteract smoking, alcohol- and drugs consumption.
The adolescents learn how to cope with stress and problems, how to show and share their feelings and needs, how to resolve conflicts, how to build up and care for friendships.
“Strengthening families” is addressed to families with at least one child between 10 and 14 years. Invited to the program are the children at this age and the person, responsible for their education.
“Strengthening families” is evaluated on international level. It consists of 11 meetings, each for 3 hours, and ends with a joint dinner.
“Strengthening families” was developed at the Iowa State University, USA. The “Deutsches Zentrum für Suchtfragen des Kinder- und Jugendalters”, Hamburg translated, adapted and evaluated the program for the German-speaking area.
More information:

Next network conference in Münster

The next euro net network conference takes place in Münster, Germany on 12. March 2018. One of the main issues will be the discussion about experiences and good practices for parental work.
Within the personal development of young people, parents have got an important role. Nevertheless: Parents and Adolescents face a challenge in the phase of puberty.
There are commonly conflicts between Adolescents and parents. Part of these conflicts can be the consumption of substances like alcohol or cannabis or the (problematic) dealing with handy, gaming or gambling.
The discussion is about experiences, methods and tools for the work with parents of experimenting young people (selective prevention).

European Expert Meeting on 13-14 March 2018

One of euro net’s EU-project is “Localize It!”. “Localize It!” aims at strengthening municipalities in their capacity to reduce underage and heavy episodic drinking. Coordinated and custom-fit local alcohol strategies will be developed, implemented and evaluated.
The next project event is a European Expert Meeting in Muenster, Germany, on 13-14 March 2018, good practices for alcohol prevention for young people in seven defined settings will be discussed.
The program of this European meeting is highly diverse: Speaker from different countries of the European Union talk about their experiences in the cooperation with municipalities in the field of alcohol prevention. Gregor Burkhart from EMCDDA gives an overview about behavioral and structural prevention in EU member states. The participants get more information about “STAD Europe – communities preventing alcohol – related harm” (Trimbos Institute, Netherlands). A presentation and discussion of good practice models and a market of opportunities complete this meeting.
The European Expert meeting is open for all experts, who work in the field of addiction prevention or are interested in this theme.
To registrate for the conference, please contact the project coordination via email: Please note that places for the conference are limited!
You will find more information about Localize It here:

3rd Meeting of European Nights: Generalitat de Catalunya is participating

On February 1st, 2nd and 3rd the 3. Meeting of European Nights will be held in Lyon, France, this meeting which represents a platform of information and exchange with regard to the Night in Europe. A way to share practices, regulations and aspirations from each territory in order to come up with a holistic and concrete vision of European nights, and from it, deduce considerations about nightlife that are worth exploring.
This event brings together professionals of the night, institutions, associations, academics, designers and users from different European cities, with the aim of exchanging best practices, proposing solutions to improve the nightlife and being a source of proposals to decision makers.
The Program on Substance Abuse of the Public Health Agency of Catalonia is participating in this event.
More information:

BeTrAD – Better Treatment for Ageing Drug user

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), through its study titled TREATMENT AND CARE FOR OLDER DRUG USERS, published in 2010, highlights the need to develop specific services and programs for ageing drug users, which in this group are considered to be people aged 40 or more. According to this study, almost 20% of people who start treatment in Europe (30% in some countries) exceed the age of 40 years. The age of people treated with substitutes confirms this trend, and even, in some countries, more than 50% of these cases are 40 years old or older.
A pattern of long-term consumption, a poor health history, the deterioration of the immune system related to age, as well as infectious diseases derived from the consumption, are some of the characteristics that present the ageing drug users.
The BeTrAD project has as its main objective the analysis of the needs of drug users who maintain their consumption in old age and who have become older from a social and health perspective. The final result of the project has to provide professionals with the necessary tools, resources and knowledge to facilitate and improve the attention to this group of people. Partner in this project is the euro net member Generalitat de Catalunya.

The project works on 5 work areas:
• Evaluation of existing policies and services addressed to older people who use drugs in Europe.
• Collection of good practices and development of a guide with specific services for the attention of ageing drug users.
• Design of a training curriculum as a model to expand at national-level. To evaluate its effectiveness, it will be implemented in a Summer School that will take place in Frankfurt in June 2018.
• Creation of a web site where the results of the projects will be available:

Current state
To date, the collection and selection of good practices were carried out. For the identification process, a questionnaire was developed and distributed among different entities and organizations dealing with drug dependences and also services for the care of the elderly. As a result, 113 responses were gathered from centres in 27 European countries, of which 20 were selected as examples of good practices, based on the following criteria: a) the most complete range of services, b) commitment to training / education, c) work in exceptional circumstances, d) the most complete and best-developed methods and e) the offer of specific services for the target group. The selected examples will form the guide of good practices.
The results of this research indicate that there are few specific care programs for ageing drug users, and that their needs are solved in services for the general drug addiction attention. It is very unusual to train professionals in this field. However, some organizations have developed specific plans focused on specific services for current and future needs of this target group.

More Information about BeTrAD:

Linz and Bad Ischl in Austria start “Localize It!”

Institut Suchtprävention, pro mente Oberösterreich is one of 11 project partners in our EU-project Localize It! In January, they have published a press release about their two Localize It-locations:
A good glass of wine for dinner, a cool beer while talking to the neighbor, a glass of prosecco at a celebration: Alcohol is part of our culture and for most people in Austria alcohol is an opportunity of enjoyment. However, some of them develop a high risk or problematic alcohol consumption which can have far-reaching consequences, for the alcohol-consuming person but also for its social surrounding and the society.
Health hazards are one consequence for the person him or herself, but the municipalities have to pick up the tab for side effects like broken bottles and glasses on playgrounds, demolished bus shelters, noise pollution and brawls, traffic accidents and police operations – just to name some of them.
For municipalities it is a challenge to find the right balance between enjoyment and reducing side effects to a minimum. Many actors already work on this issue. However, there is one thing missing and that is a common strategy: A cooperation of all relevant actors, to identify the problems and to find common solutions.
That is what Localize It! aims for: To join all forces and to take action against alcohol related harms.
In Austria, the municipalities Linz and Bad Ischl are participating in Localize It!
Currently, a Rapid Assessment and Response is carried out in all participating municipalities to get an overview about the local situation. After that a “round table” will be installed. A needs assessment is the next step before a tailor-made action plan will be developed. This action plan is based on good practices that have been researched at the beginning of Localize It.
The development of local and European networks as well as the process and result evaluation is done by the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE).

For more information, see

fr: Health advisor and vice mayor of Linz, Detlef Wimmer, city councillor of Bad Ischl, Brigitte Platzer, Christoph Lagemann from Institut Suchtprävention and Dr. Dietmar Nemeth, director of health and sport of the municipality Linz
Photo: Municipality of Linz

Returning member in euro net: GENCAT

After some years, euro net has got a member in Spain again.
The Department of Health of the Government of Catalonia (GENCAT) is the main governmental institution of health in the Catalan region. Joan Colom and Maria Estrada will represent GENCAT inside the network. For structural reasons they had to leave euro net in 2008. In December 2016 Maria Estrada was able to participate at the European Workshop for Addiction Prevention in Asbeck, after that GENCAT declared the assession to euro net. Welcome to euro net!!

GENCAT is reponsible for Catalonia. The Program on Substance Use Problems is part of the Public Health Agency of Catalonia (ASPCAT) and was established in 1989, with the aim of promoting health and preventing ill health in relation to substance use problems and addiction. Since 2005, the Program has been co-director of the Master Plan on Mental Health and Addictions and has been responsible for regional level alcohol and drug use prevention, harm reduction and mental health promotion in Catalonia. The goals of the Program on Substance Abuse are to support the development of policies at regional level, including the Catalan Health Plan, the Master Plan on Mental Health and Addictions, and the National Strategy on Drug Prevention. The Program also aims to provide accurate and relevant information to the Catalan Government, municipalities and the public in general; to promote, design, manage, implement and evaluate prevention and promotion programs in addictions and mental health; to undertake relevant research on prevention; and to guarantee the coordinated implementation and monitoring of national policies concerning addiction and mental health in Spain.

New member in euro nets presidium

At the end of October 2017, euro net had to say good bye to Doris Sarrazin.
Doris Sarrazin followed Wolfgang Rometsch as representative of the German euro net member LWL-Coordination office for drug-related issues in 2014. She was president of our network up to December 2016 and had here place in the board as vice-president upon to her retirement six weeks ago.
Gaby Bruchmann is the name of her successor. In Oslo, the network elected Bruchmann unanimously in the presidium.

Welcome to euro net, Gaby Bruchmann!