On 14 – 16 November 2016 twenty-three experts in the treatment field attended an Expert Group Meeting (EGM) on quality assurance mechanisms for drug dependence treatment services convened at Vienna International Center, Austria. The meeting, organised by the Drug Prevention and Health Branch of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), aimed to discuss the overall scope, structure, content and key elements of a quality assessment tool for drug use disorders treatment services.
The tool is intended for policy makers, managers and clinicians and will serve in planning, assessment and evaluation of drug treatment services in line with the UNODC-WHO International Standards of Treatment of Drug Use Disorders. It will also be instrumental in accreditation of those services, as it will include indicators to assess their compliance with the recommendations of the International Standards.
During the three-day meeting, the treatment experts presented their insights on the operationalization of the quality standards at national, regional and global levels. The group discussions focused on community-based outreach, screening, brief intervention and referral to treatment (SBIRT), short-term and long-term inpatient/residential treatment and outpatient treatment. The presentations and discussions concluded with an idea to establish criteria and indicators to measure the quality of the treatment centers and an improvement plan to achieve a higher quality of treatment services. UNODC will ensure that the knowledge shared during the expert discussions will be integrated into guidelines for quality assurance.