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15.06.2010

Czech Republic to Support the Introduction of a Balanced Approach to Drugs in Georgia

Publisher: Ing. Mgr. Bc. Vendula Běláčková Ph.D. | Last update: 15.06.2010

PRESS RELEASE, Prague, 15 May 2010 Tomáš Zima, the Dean of the First Faculty of Medicine of Charles University in Prague, and Uli Rothfuss, the Rector of IB Euro-Caucasian University in Tbilisi, will sign a collaboration agreement at the Czech Embassy in Georgia on Friday, 21 May. The project, funded by the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sports as part of its development programme, involves the adaptation of the Czech system of under- and post-graduate education in addictology (a field of study concerned with addiction and addictive behaviours) into the system of education in the Republic of Georgia. Historically, it is the first project of collaboration between the Czech Republic and Georgia concerning higher (tertiary) education.

Tomáš Zábranský, the Research and Development Manager of the Centre for Addictology, is familiar with the situation in Georgia thanks to his engagement in the UN Development Programme and his supervision of several international research studies carried out in the area of the Southern Caucasus: “Following the collapse of the Soviet empire, Georgia experienced  turbulent political and economic development, which was reflected in a dramatic increase in the use of illegal drugs, as well as in the related negative social and health consequences, including the disintegration of traditional family ties, a higher crime rate, and a rise in the levels of related diseases and fatal overdoses.”

The Czech Republic found itself in a similar situation after 1989: the system of drug services and professional training in the field, focusing mainly on law enforcement and biopsychiatry and completely disregarding the interdisciplinary approach as a precondition for successful interventions, was not prepared for the rise in the use of illegal substances. In the last twenty years, however, the Czech Republic has managed to build an efficient system of services thanks to which our country has achieved an extremely low rate of fatal overdoses and infectious diseases related to drug use. The Czech drug policy and its coordination have been highly praised at the European level, as well as on a broader international scale.

In 2005 the 1st Faculty of Medicine of Charles University, Prague introduced a new academic programme in addictology, a unique discipline in the context of the “new EU countries” which integrates the medical, social, psychological, and legal dimensions of the drug issue in a single field of study which may be pursued in bachelor’s, master’s, and postgraduate formats. And it was the Czech model of addictology and its potential adaptation to the local conditions of the systems of education and services for drug users that IB Euro-Caucasian University in Tbilisi, Georgia, showed interest in.

One of the first specific outcomes of the project will be the “Summer School of Addictology”. This event, to be held in Prague in the summer of 2010, will be attended by the first 13 Georgian students – prospective trainers in the field – who will be acquiring a better understanding of the discipline of addictology, its managerial and organisational aspects, and other fields of study.

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you be interested in participating in the formal ceremony or the summer school of addictology.

Contacts:

Ing. Mgr. Vendula Běláčková – media relations

Project Coordinator

belackova@adiktologie.cz

Tel.: + 420 721 818 692

 

MUDr. Tomáš Zábranský

Project Manager

twz@adiktologie.cz

Tel.: +420 603 451 103

 

Doc. PhDr. Michal Miovský, Ph.D.

Head, Centre for Addictology

mmiovsky@adiktologie.cz

 

Kateřina Šilhánková
Attaché for Development Cooperation
Embassy of the Czech Republic in Georgia
Tel.: +995/32/916740-42
Mobile: +995 99 176 654
e-mail: katerina_silhankova@mzv.cz

Information sources:

 


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