F. Pijlman, P. Pissarra, A. Tomlin, C. Goodair, and M. Galla Trimbos-Institute, Netherlands, Institute for Metal Health and Addiction, Utrecht, The Netherlands/ Instituto da Droga e da Toxicodependência (IDT), Lisbon, Portugal/ Minervation ltd., Oxford, United Kingdom/ DrugScope, London, United Kingdom
There is an overload of information about substances available to professionals, but not all of this information is accurate or based on the latest insights from research and practice. In a collaborative project, financed by the European Commission, independent knowledge institutes on drugs and addiction from three countries will create an evidence-based database with clinically relevant information for professionals in (mental) health and addiction care. The Dutch Trimbos-Institute is developing an Internet site in collaboration with the Portuguese IDT and the British DrugScope and Minervation Ltd. The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) is also participating in the project. For many professionals in the field of general health care (e.g., general practitioners) or mental health and addiction care, it is a great challenge to keep up with the latest insights. The EELDA Web site (www.eelda.org) can anticipate this need for evidence-based information for professionals, by offering them in-depth, accurate, and timely information about all important aspects related to a specific type of substance. The information offered on the Web site will be partly based on a survey among a panel of professionals and in cooperation with the European Association of Drug Information Helplines FESAT, producing a number of relevant questions. The Web site will provide information on the different aspects of specific drugs like cannabis, Ecstasy, and cocaine. Elaborate descriptions of, for example, physical appearance or prevalence of (problematic) use will be presented with evidence-based information on effects, pharmacology, and toxicology. Of special interest to professionals will be the sections on effective treatment and effective prevention and harm reduction for specific drugs. To guarantee the reliability of the information provided, the selection of available ‘evidence” is performed according to identifiable, strict, and reciprocal selection criteria, the methodology of which is widely accepted and supported by the international scientific community. Literature databases are searched systematically and the evidence reflects a state-of-the-art overview of relevant and critically appraised research per substance. The content of the Web site will be reviewed and supported by experts from different backgrounds. The database that has been developed for the Web site will provide professionals with an easy accessible and reliable overview of the literature that can help them choose the best available treatment and keep them well informed on important changes in addiction research.