Relatively few guidelines are available in Europe that include generic minimum standards or requirements for safeguarding the overall quality of service provision in drug demand reduction. Yet, the implementation of quality standards and indicators for the treatment of a variety of health problems is an emerging issue at regional, national and international level, as quality standards are assumed to be an important tool to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of service provision.
Given the poor application of quality guidelines in drug prevention, treatment and harm reduction across the EU, the European Commission recently decided to tender a study on the development and implementation of quality standards and benchmarks for effective interventions, taking into account the needs of various stakeholders. The EQUS-study on Minimum Quality Standards in Drug Demand Reduction resulted in a consensus list of over 70 quality standards that were accepted by a large group of practitioners, service providers and scientists from across Europe (Uchtenhagen & Schaub, 2011). However, as opposed to other European countries, the development of service standards and guidelines for drug demand reduction in Belgium is still in its infancy.
Consequently, the aims of the COMIQS.BE-study are threefold: