The European Drug Emergencies Network (Euro-DEN Plus) is to expand to new hospital ‘sentinel’ centres in the EU Neighbourhood. New centres will be located in countries participating in the EU-funded EU4Monitoring Drugs (EU4MD) project, including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine.
Data from hospital emergency departments show that every year in Europe thousands of individuals experience drug-related toxicity and other harms, resulting in urgent hospitalisation. Supported by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), Euro-DEN Plus monitors drug-related emergency presentations across Europe to provide unique insight into acute health harms related to drug use.
The Euro-DEN Plus network already includes a total of 28 sentinel centres in 18 EU Member States, Norway, the UK and Switzerland. New centres will not only expand geographical coverage of data monitoring, but will also reinforce the network and strengthen the policy-oriented monitoring of acute drug-related harms in new regions.
The three-year EU-funded project EU4Monitoring Drugs - launched by the EMCDDA in January 2019 — supports national and regional readiness in the European Neighbourhood area to identify and respond to drug-related health and security threats.
The decision to expand the Euro-DEN network to neighbouring countries was discussed at a kick-off network meeting on 11 January involving experts from the EU4MD and partners from the Western Balkans. The meeting, involving 25 experts from 12 countries, aimed to provide representatives of the forthcoming centres with an overview of the Euro-DEN Plus project and its data-collection model.