Side Event: The Early Warning Subsystem of the Brazilian National System of Public Drug Policy – an innovation of a federative country

Organized by Brazil

Gustavo Camilo Baptista, National Secretariat of Drugs Policies and Assets Management, Ministry of Justice and Public Safety

EWS are institutional mechanisms created by national governments to deal specifically with problems arising from the expansion and complexity of the drug market, especially created to deal with the development of chemicals involve in drug support, particular in the creation of new drugs.

Brazil brought this in last year, a bit behind our neighbours. Identification of new drugs, the federal police in Brazil, ran this very well – but Brazil is a federated country – 27 states, so the process is complicated. But we still need the monitoring to identify new products in the market.

Other countries have inter-institutional mechanisms to share information between health, forensic, police, customs – altogether through a commission, we created an early warning system (EWS). There are 20 federated countries in the world, so there were not so many systems to replicate. Brazil has some particularities that makes our early warning system different. Identified policies through national programs – public safety, health system with federal, state and municipal bodies.

Claudia Leite, National Secretariat of Drug Prevention and Care, Ministry of Citizenry

Implementation of the EWS is a big advancement for public policies on drugs – fundamental factors to reduce drug use and addiction and repress trafficking. A rise of new drugs and recognising existing problems. the EWS help advise Brazil on public policies. The production of new drugs needs to be identified. Enables more efficient action – the system can also help inform potential users and their families. Primary data is new objective of EWS related to public health.

New National Policy on Drugs – two pillars – supply (Ministry of Justice and Public Safety) and demand reduction (Ministry of Citizenship).

National Drug Policy System à EWS. National Secretariat of Drug Care and Prevention (SENAPRED) – Care, Prevention, Social Reintegration, Capacity Building and Research.

Findings and trends in the use of drugs – knowledge of new trends – the early warning subsystem is really important for prevention – allows us to have an anticipated knowledge of the risks. So we can elaborate really effective responses to that. The early warning subsystem helps the health professionals deal with issues, assess the risks, and create efficient responses. Constant contribution of information on drug use in Brazil

We worked with 3 types of researchers – sewage analysis, national survey on alcohol and other drugs (representative samples), survey of use scenes in Capitals.  Epidemiological monitoring.

OBID – Brazilian Observatory on Drug Information. Fundamental to manage the early warning subsystem to allow identification of new drugs. The early warning subsystem is a fundamental tool – for the reduction of drug supply and drug demand.

Thiago Brasil Silverio, Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency, Ministry of Health

Manager of Controlled Products. These are some guidelines that are under the Law 344 from the Ministry of Health. Establish an electronic form to notify of new substances – the result of this has been useful and very efficient. ADB-FUBIATA identified by police, found in jails. There are only two warnings in the world for this substance – the US and Russia – we were notified in December last year. Always good to mention our working group action – participation of ministry represented by Federal Police Health Agency, and SENAD. We hope to work together to make the EWSS to enable even more efficient on the reporting of substances to protect public health and elaborate better public health policies on drugs.

Monica Paulo, Federal Police, Ministry of Justice and Public Safety

Also a member of the technical committee of the early warning subsystem. Will show the history of the early warning subsystem – August 2021 – subsystem was created as experimental. Technical committee created in Oct 2021 – then the TC worked very hard. Approved in March. We hope to have commissions for data collection in April. Two types of data: periodic (to general public, gathers info from different sources, drug analysis data, intoxication centred, assesses trends, compares the Brazilian scenario to international scenario) and alerts (not programmed, can be international or national – can be specific public e.g. health system, jail system, or general public). Alerts could be on trends, groups of substances or individual substances. Initiatives in Brazil to monitor and detect new substances for other trends. Report on synthetic drugs in San Paulo – the early warning subsystem compiled the data.

1st informe: Substances in green are substances controlled internationally.

2nd informe: an alert specific for the forensic laboratories

Next stages: to establish a commission to gather and analyse data, improve our data collection, establish a commission to evaluate the early warning subsystem.

Rafael Davet, National Secretariat of Public Policy, Ministry of Justice and Public Safety

Timeline: 2012 – SENASP agree to expand use of analytical equipment. Donations of chromatographs,

2018 – police answered a survey on the use of this equipment. No contracts for maintenance

2019 – Created diagnostic survey in the laboratories on equipment and human resources – demand for training, etc. Very satisfactory result as we identified room for improvement

MINERVA project – aims at strengthening the chemistry and toxicology – we had a pilot project to test the capacity, it was very successful. Three courses – chromatography, maintained of chromatographs, and to train in capacity training to identify drugs – courses focused on NPS as well

2019 we trained 40 experts, 2020: 88, 2021: 108 = 236 expert people. Hope to traing 122 this year.

For the EWS to work properly, it’s necessary to invest in labs

Gustavo Camilo Baptista To sum up, the Brazilian early warning subsystem is very complicated – 27 military police, 27 civil police agencies. We need to be flexible and attack this little by little. States have separate forensic and health systems and services. Include universities and other institutions. Mercury project, Minerva project, Center of Excellence in Reducing the Supply of Illicit Drugs – helps to reduce supply, we think the monitoring will help.

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