EMCDDA – REITOX Meeting has been held in Portugal

lizbonOur institute director Prof.Dr.Faruk Aşıcıoğlu has atended REITOX Early Warning System meeting in 19-20 May in Lisbon, Portugal held by EMCDDA (European Monitoring Center for Drugs and Drug Addiction)  once a year, as a Turkish Focal Point (TUBİM- Turkish Monitoring Center for Drug Addiction) National Expert as in previous years and has made a speech on behalf of our country. Please find below a copy of a part of the speech.

As I mentioned last year from this stage, generic system or classification (whatever you may call it) of the psychoactive substances has been implemented to the Turkish criminal act. After one year of experience, it was determined that the generic system has covered approximately 45%  of new seizures ( a total of 24 NPSs are within the generic classification out of 56 new seized substances during this period). It was also experienced that there were some preventable leakages from the generic system. Therefore some amendments were done at the generic classification such as discarding the restriction of carbon numbers added to the alkyl substitution. These small modifications have widened the coverage of NPSs. Although the effectiveness of the generic system, the NPSs which are out of coverage have still been included to the act by individual listing.

Last year, the most prevalent seizures among NPSs are synthetic cannabinoids, similar to previous years. Approximately 16% of them are related with selling, marketing, and manufacturing, while the rest are usage and possession of the substances.  One fourth of the cases have been arrested in Istanbul as similar to previous years, but it has been observed that the count of the cities where the substances were seized in have progressively increased (from  43 cities in 2012 to 71 cities in 2015).

Another important point from previous years are amendments to the Turkish Criminal Act in which the punishment of the crimes related with synthetic cannabinoids elevated to the aggravated drug crime levels.

There are still some problems concerning the evaluation of the cases admitted to the emergency services because of the physicians lack of awareness and knowledge. The establishment process of some of the regional drug confirmation laboratories across the country are still ongoing. As for the postmortem analysis of drugs, many improvements were achieved by the forensic toxicology departments. Most of them have LC MS MS,  updated libraries, experienced staff and also have purchased reference materials as soon as possible.

The most important challenges faced as Turkish focal point is that the participation to the network from emergency units are still not satisfying. In order to solve this and some other data collection problems, a project to integrate all stakeholders into the same portal is planned by TUBIM. There is also another project about sewage analysis which is waiting for funding.

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