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Moore, Joan (2008) From Drugnet Europe. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 25, Spring 2008, p. 28.

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Standardising the monitoring of drug-related public expenditure

Producing estimates of drug-related public expenditure is one of the many targets set by the current EU drugs action plan (2005–2008). In this light, the EMCDDA is working to identify and test suitable monitoring tools with the aim of developing a common EU methodology for data-collection in this area. The ultimate goal is to quantify how much countries are spending on addressing the drug problem (e.g. healthcare, law enforcement, social services, drug policies). This will in turn provide policy-makers with the evidence-base they need when allocating resources to drug-related programmes and services.

The EMCDDA’s strategy for developing such a common methodology received the support of an expert meeting held in Lisbon from 13–14 December, attended by 14 consultants from the areas of drug policy and economics. This methodology is based on a classification of expenditure divided into two types: 'labelled' and 'unlabelled'.

'Labelled expenditure' refers to planned spending, reflecting the voluntary commitment of the state in the drugs field, and can be traced by exhaustively reviewing official accountancy documents over a given period. However, estimates are often complicated when expenditure is embedded in programmes with broader goals (e.g. overall police operations budget). In such cases, 'unlabelled expenditure' is estimated through modelling techniques. It is hoped that this new, twofold approach will not only provide more comprehensive and accurate estimates of public spending in tackling drugs and drug addiction Europe-wide but also strengthen governments’ commitment to budgetary transparency and accountability.

Item Type
Publication Type
International, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
Substances (not alcohol/tobacco)
Issue Title
Issue 25, Spring 2008
Page Range
p. 28
Health Research Board
Issue 25, Spring 2008
Accession Number
HRB (Available)

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