Belgrade – Serbia is planning to adopt a national drug prevention program that will define the role of all relevant institutions, say the Ministry of Health.
Illustration: Depositphotos / Andrew Lozovyi
The Ministry points out that Serbia receives praise from the EU for the results achieved in assessing and determining the risk of new psychoactive substances.
The head of the Center for Drugs Monitoring and Drug Addiction at the Ministry of Health, Jelena Jankovic, said in a statement to Tanjug that behind the achieved results there is huge and hard work, effort and dedication, which was also recognized at a gathering held in Lisbon on 18 June dedicated to new drugs, which were invited to the EU member states, and which also included Serbia.
"Serbia is the only candidate country that has been invited to this meeting thanks to the results we have achieved in the last three years by establishing an early warning system," Jankovic said.
She explained that EU members are informing the European Monitoring Center according to very serious standards that have been established and which Serbia has established over the last three years.
These standards, he adds, relate not only to new drugs, but also to reporting on addiction treatment, drug use mortality, infectious illnesses associated with drug use, as well as seizures and drug-related offenses.
From the EU, it is said that Serbia can be an example to other candidate countries, since it has established reporting, risk assessment and control of psychoactive substances directly in cooperation with EU representatives.
"Serbia is recognized as an important factor that can contribute to the fight against drugs at the world level," Jelena Jankovic stressed.
She reminded that in the last three years leading experts in the field of new drugs within the team formed by Health Minister Zlatibor Loncar are working on risk assessment and identify the risks of new psychoactive substances.
"New psychoactive substances are now very much represented, as is their production, especially in China and India, and there are also in Europe. In Serbia there were no, but with the early warning system established within the Ministry of Health, we identified 15 new psychoactive substances in the territory of Serbia, "says Jankovic.
Fortunately, she added, there were no cases of intoxication with these substances that were placed on the list of controlled psychoactive substances, which means that their use and production are prohibited.
Janković says that training of members of the Customs Administration, MIA and health institutions has been conducted so far and emphasizes that an enormous system covering all ministries and institutions can contribute to the discovery and identification of new psychoactive substances.
In addition to the gathering in Lisbon, she said that Serbia has won exceptional praise and recognition for work at two other international events this year.
In the field of prevention, Jankovic reminded that a year ago a Commission for the Fight against Drug Addiction was formed in schools whose president is Minister Lonacar.
Within these activities, a lecture on the topic of drug harm was held for 36,000 pupils, 7,000 teachers and 3,000 parents.