241581 A novel approach recently being adopted by the authorities in Poland for dealing with the abuse of new psychoactive substances ie. Legal Highs, Designer Drugs (DDs)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Przemyslaw Bilinski, MD, PhD , Chief Sanitary Inspector, Chief Sanitary Inspectorate, Institute of Haematology and Transfusion Medicine, Warsaw, Poland
Ewa Kopacz, MD , Minister of Health in Poland, Ministry of Health, Warsaw, Poland
Piotr Kulpa, MBA , Director General, Chief Sanitary Inspectorate, Warsaw, Poland
Piotr Holownia, PhD , Advisor, Chief Sanitary Inspectorate, Warsaw, Poland
Zbigniew Fijalek, Professor , Director, National Medicines Institute, Warsaw, Poland
Tackling DDs has elicited different responses from national authorities worldwide. Some countries opting to ban new drugs as and when shown to be harmful or introducing sweeping bans based on chemical structure. The effects are however variable with increases in illicit drug trafficking and/or re-branding strategies used by suppliers on substitute alternatives, thereby circumventing laws. In Poland, a novel anti-drug strategy was implemented due to having the fastest growing EU market for DDs with hundreds of hospitalisations arising. This firstly consisted of extending the existing EU mephedrone ban to 50 other DDs confirmed to be psychoactive from ongoing recent studies - being part of a long term public health investment of 5 million Euros. This banned list resulted from an exhaustive screening and analysis of 3000/6000 DD samples taken from commercially available products including laboratory testing on their pharmacology, biochemistry and neurophysiology. NMR has identified 7 seven main chemical groupings so far; the highest incidences being MDPV (23%), and 16% for JWH-081 and RCS-4. Accordingly, the Polish Health Ministry is amending its drug legislation to embrace and update DDs defined as ‘substitute substances' which are henceforth completely prohibited. Furthermore, the Polish Chief Sanitary Inspectorate and law enforcement officers checked over 3500 wholesale/retail premises of which 40% were closed and samples collected to confirm transgressions. Poland is confident that this approach will significantly reduce DD abuse and a comparison of usage patterns with other countries would be interesting. A draft plan for applying this solution is being considered by the EC.

Learning Areas:
Basic medical science applied in public health
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Provision of health care to the public
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
A novel national health strategy is described in dealing with the problem of designer drugs in Poland compared to other countries. How this was organised, undertaken and the initial outcomes are also presented.

Keywords: Drug Abuse, Drug Use

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Biography of presenter; Dr P Bilinski: Education and qualifications include; State High School, Medical University of Lodz (MD) including various degree specialisations, PhD in Endocrinology; all in Poland. Various clinical endocrinological post-graduate qualifications gained at leading European universities together with senior management, administration, public health, education and business qualifications. Professional positions have consisted of; Directorships at various major Polish teaching hospitals and departments (eg. in Lodz & Warsaw specialising in internal medicine, osteoporosis & menopause, disease prevention & control, thyroidology, haematology & transfusion etc). Several consultantships also held and member of many prominent European scientific and management associations. My current tenure is Chief Sanitary Inspector of Poland under the Ministry of Health responsible for Public Health in Poland.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.