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Moore, Joan (2005) From Drugnet Europe. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 13, Spring 2005, pp. 18-23.

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‘Snapshots’ shed light on EU targets

Cited from Drugnet Europe No. 48, October–December 2004

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) produced a ‘snapshot’ of the drug situation at the start and close of the EU Drugs Strategy (1999 and 2004), which showed the following:

§         Levels of heroin use and injecting appear to have stabilised following epidemic rises in the 1980s to mid 1990s and less people are starting these behaviours (EU 15). Generally there has been a levelling off in the upward trend in drug use prevalence observed in the 1990s, although levels remain historically high and specific analyses by country, sub-group or drug type show both rises and falls. But there is concern around rising levels of polydrug use and signs of new problems linked to the intensive use of cannabis, cocaine and other stimulants (Target 1).

§         A small but statistically significant reduction in drug-related deaths was recorded between 2000 and 2001, possibly due to a stabilisation in heroin use and interventions directly targeting risk behaviour. This trend seemed to continue in 2002, although deaths remained at historically high levels (Target 2).

§         An increase in treatment availability was noted during the snapshot period in most countries as well as an overall rise in the number of reported treatment demands. The report states that there is evidence suggesting that service provision has not only expanded (primarily substitution treatment) but also diversified (Target 3).

Experts focus on gender differences among drug treatment clients

Cited from Linda Montanari, Drugnet Europe No. 48, October–December 2004

Women tend to seek treatment for drug problems less than men, with a male–female ratio ranging from 5:1 in Greece to 2:1 in the Czech Republic (all drugs). This ratio varies according to the primary substance used, with fewer women than men seeking treatment for cocaine, cannabis and opiate use and more doing so for drugs such as hypnotics or sedatives. The male–female ratio also varies according to characteristics such as age and education. For example it was found to be:

§         lower among very young clients (3.6 men to 1 woman <20 years old);

§         lower among those with high levels of education (3.1 men to 1 woman);

§         lower among people living with children (1.3 men to 1 woman).

At present, data on treatment demand mainly relate to outpatient treatment centres, but there are signs that countries are broadening national data coverage and improving data quality.

Drugnet Europe is a newsletter published by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). The newsletter is published four times a year in Spanish, German, English, French and Portuguese. An electronic version of Drugnet Europe is available from the EMCDDA website at http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/


Item Type
Publication Type
International, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
Substances (not alcohol/tobacco)
Issue Title
Issue 13, Spring 2005
January 2005
Page Range
pp. 18-23
Health Research Board
Issue 13, Spring 2005
Accession Number
HRB (Available)

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