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Long, Jean (2010) Bridging the research gap in the field of illicit drugs. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 32, Winter 2009, p. 10.

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The European Commission hosted a conference titled ‘Bridging the research gap in the field of illicit drugs in the EU’ in Brussels on 24–25 September 2009.  

At the conference, Dr Gerhard Bühringer and Dr Michael Farrell presented a mapping of drug-related research in the EU, based on their work for a report recently published by the European Commission.1 They documented the existence of both projects and research publications on illicit drugs. The projects and publications were classified into five themes: understanding drug-use behaviour, demand reduction, supply reduction, policy analysis and meta-evaluations. The mapping process identified that half of the projects examined the epidemiology of drug use and 30% tested a prevention or treatment intervention. There were very few projects on drug supply.
Ireland had 22 research projects between 2001 and 2006 and 66 publications in the four years 2001/2 and 2005/6. The majority of these projects and publications covered the epidemiology of drug use.
Mr Wolfgang Gotz, Director of the EMCDDA, mentioned two challenges to bridging the gap between research and policy: the dearth of longitudinal studies and the need to improve methods of dissemination.
There were three parallel sessions: connecting research policy and drug policy, gaps in current knowledge, and funding mechanisms in different EU countries. These sessions were carried over to the following day. In addition, delegates from Australia, Canada and the US shared their experiences of illicit drug research in their countries and of getting the findings into policy and practice.
1. Bühringer G, Farrell M, Kraus L, Marsden J, Pfeiffer-Gerschel T, Piontek D et al. (2009) Comparative analysis of research into illicit drugs in the European Union, Brussels: European Commission, Directorate-General for Justice, Freedom and Security. 
Item Type
Publication Type
International, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
Substances (not alcohol/tobacco)
Issue Title
Issue 32, Winter 2009
18 January 2010
Page Range
p. 10
Health Research Board
Issue 32, Winter 2009
Accession Number
HRB (Available)

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