DPNSEE hosted the Webinar on EU Drugs Strategy 2021 – 2025 on Wednesday 24 March 2021. The Webinar was supported by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA).
The webinar was supposed to serve as a source of inspiration to support all those involved process of design, implementation and evaluation of drug strategies.
The EU Drugs Strategy 2021 – 2025 was presented by Danilo Ballotta, Coordinator – Institutional relations at the EMCDDA (link to Danilo’s presentation>>>).
Iga Jeziorska, from Youth Organisations for Drug Action, Chair of the Working Group on the EU Action Plan at the EU Civil Society Forum on Drugs (link to Iga’s presentation>>>) and Adrià Cots Fernández, Research and Advocacy Officer, International Drug Policy Consortium spoke about the civil society involvement in the process of designing the Strategy.
A more critical view on the Strategy was offered by Péter Sárosi from the Rights Reporter Foundation (link to Péter’s presentation>>>).
Discussions in three separate discussion rooms followed on three main pillars of the Strategy: Reducing supply (facilitated by Željko Petković, Assistant Director, Service for Combatting Drug Abuse at the Croatian Institute of Public Health), Reducing demand (facilitated by Matej Košir, Deputy Chairperson, Vienna NGO Committee on Narcotic Drugs, UTRIP Institute, Slovenia) and Harm reduction (facilitated by Marios Atzemis, DPNSEE Board member, European AIDS Treatment Group Greece).
More than 70 representatives of governmental organisations, both on national and local level, academia, civil society organisations, international organisations and donor community participated.
The Webinar offered a comprehensive and interesting insight into the Strategy and caused an interesting discussion and exchange of views.
The Drug Policy Network South East Europe and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) invite you to participate in the webinar that will provide information on the new European Union drug strategy.
The EU Council approved the EU Drugs Strategy on 18 December 2020 setting out the political framework and priorities for the EU’s drug policy in the period 2021-2025. The strategy aims to ensure a high level of health promotion, social stability and security and contribute to awareness raising. On the basis of this strategy, the Council will prepare an action plan which will set out concrete measures to achieve these priorities.
With this strategy, the EU and its member states reaffirm their commitment to an approach which is based on evidence, comprehensive and balanced between demand and supply reduction of drugs, with the preservation of human rights at its core. At the same time, this strategy uses the lessons learned from the COVID-19 crisis in the drugs area and takes a future-oriented approach, promoting research, innovation and foresight to respond more effectively to increasing challenges and to anticipate them.
The webinar may serve as a source of inspiration to support all those involved process of design, implementation and evaluation of drug strategies. It is especially suitable for regional drug strategy makers, regional civil society groups, European and other interested participants.
The EU Drugs Strategy 2021 – 2025 will be presented by Danilo Ballotta, Coordinator – Institutional relations at the EMCDDA.
We also expect inputs from the civil society activists. The full list of speakers will be published before the webinar.
The Webinar will be held via Zoom on Wednesday 24 March 2021 starting at 13:00 CET. The Webinar will last for 90 minutes.
The Webinar will be delivered in English, with translation into Bosnian-Croatian-Montenegrin-Serbian. We are exploring opportunities for translation into other languages of South East Europe.
As the number of participants is limited, please register by Tuesday 23 March using the following link>>>.
The EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) launched today the European Web Survey on Drugs 2021. Targeted at people, aged 18 and over, who have used drugs, the survey aims to improve understanding of patterns of drug use in Europe and help shape future drug policies and interventions.
The voluntary, anonymous survey – one of the agency’s targeted ‘leading-edge’ monitoring methods – will run this year in 31 countries and 28 languages. As in previous years, it will be promoted nationally by the Reitox focal points and their partners, as well as through targeted social media advertisements.
In 2016, the first European Web Survey on Drugs was launched. It ran in 16 countries and more than 80 000 people participated. In 2021, this survey will run in over 30 EU and neighbouring countries!
New to this year’s round is the participation of the agency’s partners from the Western Balkans and the European Neighbourhood Policy area through the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA7) and EU4Monitoring Drugs (EU4MD) projects.
The new questionnaire, which will run for six weeks, is structured in modules on: socio-demographics, drug using patterns, access to treatment, access to drugs (amounts usually bought and prices paid) and how COVID-19 has affected patterns of drug use. Its findings will contribute to the emerging knowledge base on drug-using practices in Europe and on the quantities of drugs used. This will help enhance market size estimates at national and European level and contribute to policy development more widely.
DPNSEE and Trimbos Institute hosted the Webinar “Drug Policy evaluations: opportunities to support inclusive, effective and evidence-based public policy” on Wednesday 10 February 2021. The aim of the Webinar was to provide information on drug policy evaluation as an effective instrument to guide, manage and support effective policies and services.
The Webinar included an introduction on drug policy evaluations and presentations on approach and methods and experiences from the evaluations performed in Croatia and Cyprus. Discussions in three separate discussion rooms followed on different segments of a policy/strategy cycle.
More than 90 representatives of governmental organisations, both on national and local level, academia, civil society organisations, coming from 31 countries, and international organisations participated.
The presentations from the Conference are ready to download:
Introduction to drug policy evaluation: Liesbeth Vandam, European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction following this link>>>
The Drug Policy Network South East Europe and Trimbos Institute invite you to participate in the webinar that will provide information on drug policy evaluation as an effective instrument to guide, manage and support effective policies and services. The Webinar is supported by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction and the European Civil Society Forum on Drugs.
The Webinar will present an insight on how various actors can contribute to a process of monitoring and evaluation of drug policies and can benefit from. It will:
showcase the benefits of drug policy evaluations
provide examples of recent regional drug policy (e.g. Croatia, Cyprus)
provide opportunities of online evaluations
The webinar may serve as a source of inspiration to support all those involved process of building better drug policies. It is especially suitable for regional drug policy makers, regional civil society groups, European and other interested participants.
The Plenary introductions will include:
Introduction on drug policy evaluations
Drug Policy evaluations: approach and methods
Benefits from independent evaluation
Experiences from online/hybrid evaluation.
Three parallel breakout sessions will follow on What is needed to prepare a national drug policy?, How to monitor progress? and How to learn from and improve policies?
The Webinar will be held via Zoom at the following link https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86598224178 on Wednesday 10 February 2021 starting at 14:00 CET. The Webinar will last for 120 minutes.
As the number of participants is limited, please register by Monday 8 February using the form attached here>>>.
The latest European School Survey Project on Alcohol and Other Drugs (ESPAD) report, published in collaboration with the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA), was presented on 12 November 2020. ESPAD is a collaborative network of independent research teams in over 40 European countries and the largest cross-national research project on adolescent substance use in the world. It is coordinated by the ESPAD Italian team at the National Research Council of Italy (CNR-IFC).
This report presents the results from the seventh wave of data collection, conducted in 35 countries during the spring and autumn of 2019. That includes nine out of 11 South East European countries – all except Albania and Bosnia Herzegovina. A total of 99 647 pupils participated in the latest survey round, responding to an anonymous questionnaire.
It gives a comprehensive picture of the present situation among European young people as regards the use of cigarettes, alcohol, illicit drugs, inhalants, new psychoactive substances and pharmaceuticals, but also insights into gambling, social media use and gaming. The report also presents an overview of trends over the time period 1995-2019.
The latest survey shows that, on average, one in six school pupils (17 per cent) reported having used an illicit drug at least once in their life, with levels varying considerably across the ESPAD countries (range: 4.2 per cent–29 per cent). Lifetime prevalence of illicit drug use in this group has been declining slightly since 2011, although has been generally stable over the past two decades. The non-medical use of prescription drugs among adolescents remains a concern, the statement said.
Cannabis is still the illicit drug most used by school pupils in ESPAD countries. On average, 16 per cent of respondents reported using cannabis at least once in their lifetime (11 per cent in 1995), while 7.1 per cent reported last-month use (4.1 per cent in 1995).
Alcohol use remains high among adolescents in Europe, with an average of over three-quarters (79 per cent) of school pupils having used alcohol in their lifetime and almost half (47 per cent) having used it in the last month. The prevalence of “heavy episodic drinking” reached its lowest level in the 2019 survey (35 per cent), following a peak in 2007 (43 per cent). Changes in drinking regulations at national level may have contributed to the decline in alcohol use among young people, the statement said.
Positive developments are also seen with regard to teenage smoking, against a backdrop of tobacco policy measures introduced over the last two decades. Between 1995 and 2019, ESPAD averages for cigarette use declined for lifetime use (68 per cent to 42 per cent); current use (33 per cent to 20 per cent) and daily use (20 per cent to 10 per cent). New data reveal high prevalence of e-cigarette smoking — 40 per cent for lifetime use and 14 per cent for last-month use — with those who have never smoked cigarettes (‘never smokers’) reporting higher rates of this behaviour than ‘occasional smokers’ and ‘regular smokers’.
The 2019 ESPAD results show that gambling for money has become a popular activity among school pupils in Europe, with 22 per cent of respondents reporting gambling on at least one game in the past 12 months (predominantly lotteries). Around 60 per cent of respondents reported having played digital games on a typical school day within the last month (69 per cent on a non-school day). In most countries, boys spend twice as much time gaming as girls.
Around 94 per cent of respondents reported use of social media in the past week. On average, users spent two to three hours on social media on a typical school day, rising to six or more hours on non-school days. In most countries, girls reported using social media on non-school days more frequently than boys.
Source data in Excel format has been split into two separate archives: (1) data used to generate graphics and tables in the main report and (2) additional tables with more results not presented in the main report.
The EMCDDA and the University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL) opened registration for two upcoming joint events in 2021: the European Drugs Winter School (EDWS) and the European Drugs Summer School (EDSS).
EDWS 1–12 March 2021 (online): Following the success of the EDSS in 2020, taught remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the organisers have decided to deliver the first virtual EDWS in 2021. The theme of the event will be Responses to, and preparedness for, health-related threats (COVID-19 lessons learned). Following a similar structure to the 2020 edition, the two-week course will feature live lunchtime lectures with experts and practitioners, followed by afternoon exercises. Virtual fieldwork tours will also be offered. Completion of exercises and an exam are compulsory for those wishing to obtain credits. The sessions will be recorded and available for subsequent viewing. Increasing the offer of online training is in line with the EMCDDA’s digital transformation objectives. Registration EDWS Phase 1: 19 October 2020–8 February 2021 (notification of acceptance on 12 February 2021).
EDSS 28 June–9 July 2021 (Lisbon): This year, the two-week course will focus on Vulnerable groups. Sessions will include lectures on the prevention of drug-related problems; social determinants of drug use and interventions for vulnerable groups (homeless, prisoners, migrants). Study visits will be organised to one of the Portuguese commissions for dissuasion as well as a local harm reduction centre. During the course, students will participate in interactive workshops to discuss their own projects and views. The course will conclude with an open debate with guest speakers, followed by an exam for those wishing to obtain credits. All recommended COVID-19 safety measures will be put in place, if applicable. Deposits and fees will be reimbursed if the summer school is cancelled in case of force majeure, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Registration EDSS Phase 1: 19 October 2020–28 February 2021 (notification of acceptance on 5 March 2021). Phase 2: 1 March 2021–7 June 2021 (notification of acceptance on 11 June 2021).
The target audiences for the two events are: university students, researchers, professionals and administrators interested in working on drug issues. The previous rounds of the EDSS brought together students from the EU Member States as well as from Africa, Asia, Australia and the Americas. Profiles of former alumni and their testimonials can be found on the official summer school website and their statements viewed in a promotional video.
The courses prepare professionals and students to meet the complex policy challenges that face Europe in the field of drugs. Involving scientific experts from the EMCDDA, university professors and policymakers, they provide a multi-disciplinary and inclusive approach to the study of the drugs problem in Europe and beyond.
In 2021, students will again be able to apply for scholarships. Agreements with the IPA7 and EU4MD projects will also be sought for bursaries targeting key national experts. ‘Early-bird’ reductions will be available. The EDSS will be run in English.
The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) launched today the European Drug Report 2020: Trends and Developments. In its latest annual review – marking 25 years of monitoring – the agency describes the drug situation at the end of 2019, along with recent changes brought by the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020.
High availability across all drug types, drug production within Europe and highly potent substances are among the concerns addressed today. New developments highlighted in the report include: record cocaine, and large heroin, seizures; a scaling up of synthetic drug production; and concerns around high-potency cannabis, new synthetic opioids and ecstasy tablets containing high levels of MDMA. Drawing on new EMCDDA rapid studies (Spring 2020), the report also reviews COVID-19 disruption to drug use and the market, which could have long-term implications for Europe’s drug services and law enforcement agencies. There are fears that innovative drug distribution models developed during lockdown, along with the economic impact of the pandemic on vulnerable communities, will add to the challenges already posed by an abundant supply of drugs.
The following ‘Key issues’ have been identified in this year’s analysis:
Large drug shipments are increasingly intercepted
Cocaine’s role in Europe’s drug problem is increasing
Potential for increased heroin use and existing harms raise concerns
Understanding the public health impact of high-potency cannabis and new products
Increased and diverse drug production within Europe
Continuing availability of high-strength MDMA products highlights need for greater user awareness
Growing complexity in the drug market poses regulatory challenges and health risks
Need for new tools and innovative strategies to support the scaling-up of hepatitis C treatment
Drug overdose is increasingly associated with an ageing population
New psychoactive substances (NPS) have become a more persistent problem
Appearance of novel synthetic opioids is a worrying example of continuing market adaptability
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) Guidance Prevention and control of infectious diseases among people who inject drugs identifies good practice for prevention and control of infectious diseases among people who inject drugs. This guidance aims to support policy makers in Europe to plan adequate, evidence-based, pragmatic, and rationally designed public health responses for the prevention and control of infections among people who inject drugs. It aims at public health programme planners and decision makers working in the fields of infectious diseases, general public health, addiction and mental healthcare, social services, and drug control at national and regional levels.
Published n 2011, the Guidance is currently being updated. In addition to ongoing systematic reviews of peer-reviewed literature, a collection of models of good practice has been initiated by the two agencies, that should add practice-based evidence derived from interventions implemented in real-life, European settings.
The two EU agencies are inviting applications to report models of good practice targeting PWID population aiming to:
improve community-based testing
increase linkage to care
increase adherence to treatment of infection interventions
prevention or reduction of infections through successful health promotion approaches
The infections of interest are hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C (HCV), HIV and tuberculosis (TB).
Should you or your organisation be interested in reporting a model of good practice that fits the scope of this call, please express your interest following this link>>>.
The EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) launches its European Drug Report 2020: Trends and Developments in a live online media event on 22 September.
In this latest annual review – marking 25 years of monitoring – the EMCDDA describes the drug situation at the end of 2019, along with recent changes brought by the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020.
The report provides a comprehensive analysis of patterns emerging across the EU, Turkey and Norway in the areas of drug supply, illicit drug use and associated public health problems. National data sets are also provided across these themes and on key harm-reduction interventions. In a new format, chapters are organised primarily by drug type and by related harms.
Accompanying the report this year will be a Key Issues summary (in 24 languages), presenting a selection of the main findings from the latest analysis, chosen for their policy relevance and general interest. The 2020 Statistical Bulletin, containing the European dataset underpinning the report, will also be available.
Attend the live online media event to hear the key issues and latest analysis on 22 September 2020 at 10.00 (Lisbon), 11.00 CET.