How many people use illegal drugs in Georgia, how and when they do it and what drugs are used by them?

[May 4, 2016] The presentation of preliminary results of the general population survey on drugs and related attitudes (GPS) in Georgia took part at the premises of the National Centre for Disease Control in Tbilisi today. The survey is first of its kind in the countries of former Soviet Union and was conducted within the project Addiction Research Development in Georgia that is funded by the USAID and Czech Developmental Agency within the USAID Emerging Donors Program.

The survey has involved 4800 respondents and it is fully representative for the whole country and its regions including the capital city Tbilisi. It has been conducted by the Georgian researchers coordinated by the Addiction Research Center Alternative Georgia and supported by the scientist from the Charles University in Prague, the European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction and prominent US researchers – Professor Martin Iguchi (RAND, Inc.) and Professor Jim Anthony (University of Michigan) in particular.

This unique example of the US-European cooperation in the developmental field will help the Georgian government to better understand the drug situation in the country and to plan drug prevention and other relevant interventions based on sound scientific evidence and best practice from the USA and European Union member states, the Czech Republic in particular.

The preliminary study results were enthusiastically welcomed by the Georgian experts during the presentation. Not only the survey is being conducted strictly in accord with the standards of the EMCDDA model questionnaire for GPS, and with the guidelines of the US Household Surveys on Drugs; it also applies several novel methodologies aiming to overcome the cultural sensitivity of the drug use (and other marginal behaviors) that represents a phenomena threatening the reliability of studies in the drug field in the Southern Caucasus region. The preliminary results confirmed the efficacy of those novel methods that are substantially improving the quality of the survey and making its results highly useful for the drug policy planning in the Republic of Georgia.

Full results of the survey and the study report (in English and Georgian) will be presented at the press conference in the last week of July 2016. At the press conference, high-level representation of both the US Embassy and the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Georgia is expected.

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