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Innovative approaches to prevention and reduction of illicit drug demand

ORION Project workshop

[Networks n.1 - 2012]

«Drugs Overdose Kills One European Per Hour» (EPHA 2008) - an alarming but reasonably accurate reflection of the most recent reported European figures (EMCDDA 2009a). This simple headline however does not account for the complex nature of the overdoses reported or the various comorbidities associated with non-fatal overdoses (Warner-Smith et al 2002). A number of the fatal overdoses reported in the European reports have occurred alongside the presence of other substances e.g. alcohol, benzodiazepines, cocaine which raises important concerns relating to the influence of poly-drug consumption on fatal overdoses (EMCDDA 2009a). The toxicological reports add weight to the need for interventions which can address these complex needs. Individuals who take an overdose may in some instances receive health care for substance misuse. However evidence is clear that treatments themselves do not necessarily change the behaviours which put them at higher-risk of fatal overdose. The ORION project aimed to utilise an e-health tool in an innovative approach to raise awareness of factors which influence risk overdose in a European population identified as high-risk. By developing a decision analysis model it is possible to identify personalised risks of subsequent overdose and utilise a targeted approach to provide health care to improve awareness and understanding.
This project has delivered an e-health intervention which has been modelled on a previous decision analysis software program that was developed to NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) guidelines for hypertension treatment. This resulted in a tool which had benefits for both clinicians and patients and therefore has merit in improving health through a more patient-centered and individual treatment plan. The software package developed in this project aimed to replicate the high standards but transfer this approach to a clinical population which has not previously been targeted with a decision making system. As the application of a decision analysis tool has not been tested within a clinical setting before therefore the tool has been pilot tested over a three month period where each of the four partners trialling the software was asked to identify 40 patients who met the criteria defined. The data collected from both quantitative and qualitative evaluation were analysed by each of the four countries (Scotland, Denmark, Germany, Italy).
On the 28th of November 2012 the final results of the project ORION were presented at the workshop Innovative approaches to prevention and reduction of illicit drug demand at the European Parliament in Brussels. The event represented an high level opportunity to discuss the results of the ORION project with European experts, stakeholders, politicians as well as representatives of other European funded projects in the field of addiction.

Download the following attachment to know more about the results of the workshop.


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