Extracurricular programming on drug use prevention at the University of Belgrade-Faculty of Pharmacy
Despite the exceptional expertise and knowledge about drug abuse, pharmacists are not integrated into the planning and implementation of national programs and the strategy of combating drug abuse, which is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Health in Republic Serbia (MHRS). Pharmacists are only engaged in primary health care system (Apothecaries) to advise patients on the pharmaceutical formulations containing PAS and opioid analgesics, and sell needles, so that reduce spreading of infectious diseases among drug abusers and in clinical and forensic toxicological laboratories, as analytical experts.
Undergraduate Program Curriculum basic courses in University Belgrade-Faculty of Pharmacy (UBG-FPH) provide profound knowledge of PAS. The elective course „Substance abuse and analytics” was founded 2008 at UBG-FPH with the idea that students of pharmacy deepen and summarize acquired knowledge at basic courses on PAS and novel PAS (NPS) and to be acquainted with clinical and psycho-social treatment programs and wider social problems (family breakdown, criminal and economic problems in society) related to PAS abuse, what requires additional engagement of police social workers, clinical toxicologist, neuropsychiatric, psychotherapists (from relevant institutions) in teaching (multi professional approach).
The fact is that society as a whole, and especially young people who are on the greater risk of drug abuse (incline to use unauthorized PAS/NPS) deserve profound education on the health risks and consequences of drug abuse, hence they do not know it. Unacceptable is that some media represents benefits of legalizing marijuana for instance, neglecting health consequences associated with marijuana use.
Hence, faculties of health profession of UBG do not offer public educative programs against drug abuse, UBG-FPH planned to start an extracurricular programming on prevention of illicit drug abuse in harmonization with MHRS and by following the European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) concept and guidelines.
For the begging UBG-FPH planned to organize interactive lecturing and debating against actual illicit drugs abuse (trend for legalization of marijuana in some developed countries will plan to be the first) for students of UBG with different science backgrounds. Established professionals together with students will be engaged in realization of the proposed extracurricular programing, whereas the knowledge of the participants on PAS/NPS would be evaluated before and after.
We would be very grateful if EMCDDA experts could provide support and education of UBG-FPH educators and students.