The European Commission funded Science for Prevention Academic Network (SPAN) has, together with the European Society for Prevention Research (EUSPR), awarded early career prevention researcher prizes to three European researchers, from France, Croatia and the U.K.
The development of the drug scene in the aftermath of the post-1989 changes in Czech society very soon led to the formulation of the first Drug Policy Strategy (1993). By the mid-1990s the first training programmes for practitioners from various backgrounds working with addicts had come into existence. Among other influences, these programmes drew on the tradition of SUR (a training programme named after its founders, Skála, Urban, and Rubeš), and from the emerging paradigms of harm and risk reduction interventions. Systematic courses provided respectively by two non-governmental organisations, SANANIM (Prague) and Podané ruce (Brno), grew to assume a dominant position in this respect. They marked a response to a range of issues, including the lack of educated professionals in the rapidly developing drug services and the problems with the recognition of various qualifications, the definition of professional activities, and the competences of the individual professions. These two programmes laid the foundations for what was to become the interdisciplinary university-based study programme in addictology. In parallel, various social and health professions (including physicians) involved in specialised addiction treatment services had their needs and conceptual strategies shaped and clarified, which subsequently resulted in the drafting of the first comprehensive policy document in the history of the Czech Republic to outline a system of education in addictology. Having passed the review process, this policy document was approved by both the relevant professional associations in 2014.
We have the opportunity to reflect on the boundaries of addictology as a healthcare-specific discipline (cf. the text dealing with the system of lifelong education in addictology), which can provide grounds for the emancipation of health and social practitioners in terms of their expertise and position on the labour market. It also offers new possibilities for emancipation and liaison with other health professions.
The beginning of the gradual emancipation of the discipline of addictology dates back to the 1990s in the Czech Republic (at that time the Czech and Slovak Federative Republic). In clinical terms, it eventually led to the design of a standalone system of specialised prevention and treatment services and the articulation of independent quality standards (including the development of a unique system intended to monitor compliance with such standards and the overall quality policy) and recommended procedures. Conceived as an interdisciplinary platform, a specialised journal, Adiktologie, came into existence in 2001. In parallel with the above process, a unique academic programme in addictology (featuring bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels of study) began to evolve at Charles University in Prague. Inevitably, the entire process resulted in discussion and the formulation of the first strategy for addiction science and research (the Strategy), which matches and complements the developments in clinical work and education/training. In addition to promoting both basic and applied research into addictions and related phenomena, the Strategy has an impact on the field as a whole, as it also addresses the conceptual and economic issues, as well as providing a clear definition of the terms of reference for addictology. The Strategy aspires to: i) make the discipline of addictology more attractive; ii) encourage young researchers from the Czech Republic and abroad to pursue addictology; iii) clearly articulate the preconditions for the development of the field, and iv) ensure the firm grounding of this field of study within the broader framework of health and social studies.
An evidence-based approach to school prevention means an everyday fight: a case study of the Czech Republic’s experience with national quality standards and a national certification system08.08.2013 | Ing. Mgr. Bc. Vendula Běláčková Ph.D.
The Czech Republic has reached the end of a 15-year-long period of the development of a nationwide preventive system in schools. Reflection on this development can offer an interesting case study that demonstrates the general difficulties involved in creating a national prevention policy and implementing the principles of an evidence-based approach.
1st Faculty of Medicine joins the European preventive medicine network to be led by Oxford Brookes University09.04.2013 | Ing. Mgr. Bc. Vendula Běláčková Ph.D.
Prague, March 14 – Through its Department of Addictology of the First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague has joined a new network of 32 universities and institutions across Europe to help prevent diseases such as cancer, heart disease, lung disease, diabetes and mental illness, led by Oxford Brookes University.