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Moore, Joan (2009) From Drugnet Europe. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 29, Spring 2009, p. 28.

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Towards the better treatment of addiction

Cited from article by Roland Simon in Drugnet Europe No. 65, January–March 2009
Ongoing research can make a valuable contribution to the effective treatment of drug addiction. This is according to high-ranking scientists attending the European Conference of Scientific Experts, held in Paris from 9–10 December. Organised under the French Presidency of the EU by the Interdepartmental mission for the fight against drugs and drug addiction (MILDT), the event was entitled ‘How can we better treat drug addiction? New scientific and clinical challenges for Europe’.
A session dedicated to neurobiology showed how better insight into the mechanisms underlying addiction could improve interventions. Approaches for treating cocaine and crack addictions were also explored, such as the use of central nervous system (CNS) stimulants as a cocaine substitution. Also presented were the first results of a European adaptation of a US family-based behavioural therapy programme for problem cannabis users, as well as lessons to be learnt from cases of self-healing.
The researchers expressed concern over lack of sustainability (e.g. short-term funding) and problems in putting theory into practice. Possible remedies were discussed… , [including] longer-term planning and funding; an adequate slot for drug-related research in future EU research framework programmes; better integration of national and EU funding for addiction research; and the creation of research clusters for better collaboration and concentration on specific themes.
For a summary and full report, see http://mildt.systalium.org/article6022.html
Drug use, a growing challenge for EU road safety
Cited from article by Dominique Lopez and Brendan Hughes in Drugnet Europe No. 65, January–March 2009
Alcohol remains the number one substance endangering lives on European roads, but more drivers are now found to be using illicit drugs and psychoactive medicines… . The [EMCDDA] report, Drug use, impaired driving and traffic accidents, a review of the latest research in this field, explores the potential impact on road safety.1  ….
The report is dedicated to the effects and risks associated with the use of individual substances or with multiple drug use. … ‘Preventing driving under the influence of drugs is targeted by the current EU drugs strategy 2005–12 and its action plans’, said EMCDDA Director Wolfgang Götz, ‘and policymakers are increasingly called upon to respond to the problems of road fatalities linked to licit and illicit substances.’
Research covered in the report is broadly split into two types: epidemiological and experimental. Epidemiological studies examine the prevalence of drugs in driving populations, and are conducted through a range of surveys (e.g. roadside, hospitals). Experimental studies, where a drug is administered to volunteers in measured doses, … show that most illicit drugs can affect some aspect of driving performance and increase the risk of being involved in a traffic accident. And chronic (long-term) use of any illicit drug can decrease driving performance, even when the subject is no longer intoxicated.
1. www.emcdda.europa.eu/publications/insights/driving
New thematic paper on indicated prevention
Cited from Drugnet Europe No. 65, January–March 2009
The EMCDDA published its latest online thematic paper in February entitled: Preventing later substance use disorders in at-risk children and adolescents: a review of the theory and evidence base of indicated prevention. The study adds to the current knowledge and understanding of risk factors in the development of later drug problems, focusing on the mental health and behavioural problems that develop during childhood. The study also identifies models of best practice for prevention activities targeting vulnerable children in European countries.
Indicated prevention is a relatively new branch of drug prevention and describes a preventive approach targeting individuals at high risk of developing substance abuse or dependence later in life. Drawing on the current scientific literature, the study describes the results of research into psychosocial and individual risk and protective factors. The neurobiology of drug use and how childhood psychiatric disorders can predispose to addiction are described in detail. One chapter of the report is devoted to the ethical issues raised by indicated prevention. The report also contains a wealth of practical information. This includes guidelines for the assessment and treatment of specific psychiatric risk conditions for adolescent substance abuse, and detailed information on the indicated prevention programmes that have been identified in the study.
Drugnet Europe is the quarterly newsletter of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA). Drugs in focus is a series of policy briefings published by the EMCDDA. Both publications are available at www.emcdda.europa.eu.
If you would like a hard copy of the current or future issues of either publication, please contact:
Alcohol and Drug Research Unit, Health Research Board, Knockmaun House, 42–47 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2. Tel: 01 2345 127; Email: adru@hrb.ie.
Item Type
Publication Type
International, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
Substances (not alcohol/tobacco)
Issue Title
Issue 29, Spring 2009
Page Range
p. 28
Health Research Board
Issue 29, Spring 2009
Accession Number
HRB (Available)

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