The Psychoactive Substance Use Disorders (PSUD) Working Group

Something is changing

Although Psychoactive substances use disorders (PSUD) are recognised by WHO as mental disorders the role of psychiatrists and psychiatric trainees varies greatly across countries, cultures and types of substances used.

In addition, in the last few years, new trends of drugs are appearing on the market and young patients and teenagers are commonly admitted to psychiatric wards after having used psychoactive substances; also, dual/co-morbid mental disorders are an area of major challenge that psychiatrists need to face almost every day. For these reasons, among the context of the EFPT Forum held in London during June 2014 , a group working on these issues was created. It is composed of trainees from Croatia, Italy, Estonia, and Lithuania.

Upon a preliminary brainstorming session, it was clear that the organisation of training in addiction/substance misuse psychiatry is quite heterogeneous among European countries, and that quality standards of training have not being established in all countries.

The idea

We then had the idea: we wanted to run a survey among European trainees!

The areas of interest of the survey are the attitudes of trainees and challenges they face in approaching people with PSUD; the training (in substance misuse) organisation both for CAPs and GAPs, the treatments in use, the size of the caseload for the trainees , and the knowledge about new drugs (NPS), across different European countries.

During this year the group met up many times via Skype, and we drafted a protocol and a 70-items (with Yes/No questions and Likert scales) survey, exploring these issues.

The next step

In order to make this survey effective, we need it to be completed by at least 40 trainees (both CAPs and GAPs) per country, in at least 20 countries.

This survey will be delivered online, through a web-based questionnaire. To make it easy, we need some national coordinators from some countries, to help the group in delivering the survey and obtaining responses from trainees within their own country. So far we enrolled coordinators from: Italy, Croatia, Portugal, France, Germany, Greece, Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, and UK.

We need You !!!

Some of us are getting older, and soon will become specialists, but the group need to stay alive in the next years to come. You are very welcome to join the PSUD-WG at the EFPT 2015 Forum, in Porto!

Nonetheless, you can help us realising a European independent survey, and your help is very much needed! We are, in fact, still searching for Coordinators from Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Latvia, Ireland, Israel, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Albania, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, Sweden, and Turkey. If you are interested in the role of National Coordinator for this survey, please, contact us at:

See you in Porto, soon!


On behalf of PSUD-WG,
Dr Duccio Papanti (In the picture, 3rd from Left)