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Keane, Martin (2005) The EDDRA column. Drugnet Ireland , Issue 15, Autumn 2005 , p. 8.

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Welcome to the twelfth EDDRA (Exchange on Drug Demand Reduction Action) column. The aim of this column is to inform people about the EDDRA online database, which exists to provide information on examples of good practice interventions to policy makers and those working in the drugs area across Europe, and to promote the role of evaluation in reducing demand for drugs. The database is co-ordinated by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). In this issue the column will focus on the inclusion of the EDDRA database in the EU Drugs Action Plan (2005–2008) as a key resource in storing and disseminating information on evaluated best practice in reducing demand for drugs.

In December 2004, the European Council endorsed the EU Drugs Strategy (2005–2012), which sets the framework, objectives and priorities for two consecutive four-year Action Plans to be brought forward by the European Commission. The latest EU Drugs Action Plan (2005–2008) is the first of the proposed four-year action plans. A key objective under the demand reduction pillar of this Action Plan is to improve coverage and effectiveness of, and access to, drug demand reduction measures. Under this objective, member states and the EMCDDA are given responsibility for the following actions:

·          To improve coverage, accessibility, quality and evaluation of drug demand reduction programmes and ensure effective dissemination of evaluated best practices


·          To ensure more effective use and regular updating of the EMCDDA-based EDDRA and other databases

In June 2005 the EDDRA database contained a total of 520 entries, including 50 from Ireland. All EDDRA entries have been assessed as examples of good practice. This means they have satisfied the quality auditing process by demonstrating internal consistency with stated rationale for existence, meaningful aims and objectives, a sound theoretical base and an evaluation component. The latter means that either the project or programme is designed to withstand an evaluation or it has been evaluated. This ensures that data on the EDDRA database is of sufficient quality to inform on what constitutes an example of good practice.

Policy makers and practitioners in Ireland can learn important lessons from the work of our EU counterparts regarding what works well and not so well in reducing demand for drugs. Similarly, we in Ireland can share with our EU counterparts our experiences of what is effective by disseminating our examples of good practice. The EDDRA database is an ideal instrument to facilitate this process of sharing and learning and is rightly regarded as such in the current EU Drugs Action Plan.

The quality of information included on the EDDRA database depends on regular updating and the continued promotion of an evaluation culture in the field of drug demand reduction action in all member states. In Ireland, this requires that those involved in projects and programmes currently included on EDDRA provide updated information on their work when applicable. New entries with an evaluation component as outlined above are also welcome and will be quality assessed using EMCDDA criteria.


Item Type
Publication Type
International, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
Substances (not alcohol/tobacco)
Issue Title
Issue 15, Autumn 2005
July 2005
Page Range
p. 8
Health Research Board
Issue 15, Autumn 2005
Accession Number
HRB (Available)

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