Papers relating to St George's, University of London involvement with the European Collaborating Centres in Addiction Studies.
Although formally named only in 1992, ECCAS was established in 1988/1989. Its origins and subsequent development can be traced back to discussions, held with officers of the European Commission in 1987/1988, identifying the need for a collaborative study to investigate the treatment of opiate addiction, using the substitute drug methadone, for the following reasons:
1 . The existence of wide differences in treatment regimes for opiate dependent individuals throughout the European Union. These differences were fuelled by controversy surrounding the side-effects of methadone, its abuse liability and dependence potential.
- The absence of sufficiently large samples.
- Differences in culture and drug legislation in Europe.
To carry out a study of this magnitude it was further understood that the research group would, in the first instance, need to develop standardised instruments, capable of collecting data from ten European countries.
Over the next three years ECCAS continued to hold discussions with the European Commission and finally in 1991 a contract was signed for the first Multi Centre Study in Europe to investigate 'Methadone Substitution Therapy and its Impact on HIV Risk Behaviours’.
After this first collaborative piece of work, ECCAS began welcoming new members to its growing group, developing other areas of interest such as training/education, and providing an environment in which members could discuss with colleagues across Europe a range of issues such as research, education and clinical treatment protocols. With an already established code of practice, ECCAS formalised its constitution at its 3rd Annual Assembly in Paris, France in April 1995.
Founder Members include:
Denmark, Embbedslaege Instiutionen, Arhus and Ringkobing
France, Centre Píerre Nicole, Paris
Germany, Klinik Fuer Allgemeine Psychiatrie, Essen
lreland, Drug Treatment Centre, Dublin
Italy, Dipartimento delle Dipendenze, Bergamo
Italy, Servizio Tossícodípendenze, Padova
Portugal, Cento Atendímento Toxicodependentes, Porto
Swtzerland, Fondation Phoenix, Geneva
Spain, Centro de Salud Mental 1, Oviedo
Spain, Servicio de Psiquiatria-Toxicomania, Hospital del Mar, Barcelona
United Kingdom, Division of Addictive Behaviour, St George’s Hospital Medical School, London