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Therapie. 2015 Mar-Apr;70(2):113-31. doi: 10.2515/therapie/2015011. Epub 2015 Apr 9.

Signal identification in addictovigilance: the functioning of the French system.

[Article in English, French]

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Centre d'Addictovigilance, Service de Pharmacologie Médicale et Clinique, CHU, Faculté de Médecine, Toulouse, France.
Centre d'Addictovigilance, Hôpital Central, CHU de Nancy, Nancy, France.
Centre d'Addictovigilance, Hôpital Central, CHU de Nancy, Nancy, France - Service de Psychiatrie et Psychologie Clinique, Unité 6, Centre Psychothérapique de Nancy, Université de Lorraine, Laxou, France - Faculté de Médecine, Université Henri Poincaré Nancy 1, Nancy, France.
Centre d'Addictovigilance, Service de Pharmacologie Médicale, CHU de Bordeaux, INSERM U657, Bordeaux, France.


The French addictovigilance network (addictovigilance: surveillance of addiction), composed of 13 Addictovigilance Centres, was set up in 1990 in order to achieve reliable surveillance and evaluation of abuse and dependence cases due to psychoactive substances (alcohol and tobacco excepted). The detection of safety signals is one of the roles of the addictovigilance centres. Signals from spontaneous reports need to be analyzed before further communication. In addictovigilance, signals may be linked to adverse effects (deaths, pathological signs), to products (new psychoactive substances with potentially dangerous effects) or to practices (new administration routes, new contexts of use). These signals are provided by numerous partners among whom the addictovigilance network has to raise awareness about information that may possibly be an alert signal. The watchful attitude of all partners will make it possible that signals will be, after analyze, considered as true alerts. The addictovigilance network collects data, assess the potential for addiction of psychoactive drugs to provide information on the risk of addiction and give opinions for public health decisions (harm reduction or prevention programs, psychoactive substances control, health alerts).

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