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Moore, Joan (2010) From Drugnet Europe. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 33, Spring 2010, p. 28.

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EMCDDA and Europol step up information collection on mephedrone
Extract from article by the Action on new drugs team printed in Drugnet Europe No. 69, January–March 2010  

Synthetic cathinones are increasingly being reported to the EMCDDA and Europol via the EU early-warning system (EWS). These ‘designer’ compounds, structurally related to amphetamine, are derivatives of the parent compound cathinone, one of the psychoactive ingredients found in khat (Catha edulis). In 2008, six of the 13 psychoactive substances reported via the EWS were synthetic derivatives of cathinone.
Some 15 synthetic cathinones are currently being monitored through the EWS, among these mephedrone (4-methylmethcathinone). Now apparently more popular among drug users as a ‘legal high’ — legal alternative to amphetamine, cocaine and ecstasy — the substance has recently attracted considerable media attention. To date, there has been one confirmed mephedrone-related death in Sweden and others suspected in the UK.
A rapid audit on the availability of mephedrone on the Internet at the end of 2009 showed that at least 31 websites were selling the substance, around three-quarters of them being dedicated mephedrone sites. ...
... the EMCDDA and Europol agreed to launch a formal procedure to collect further information on the substance. This will lead to the production of an EMCDDA–Europol Joint report to be presented to the Council of the EU, the European Commission and the European Medicines Agency. On the basis of this report, a decision can be taken on whether or not to launch a formal risk-assessment procedure on the substance.

Health and prisons in Europe
Cited from article by Linda Montanari, Dagmar Hedrich and Lucas Wiessing in Drugnet Europe No. 69, January–March 2010
Prisoners are entitled to the same level of medical care as persons living in the community. Prison health services should therefore be able to provide treatment for drug problems in conditions comparable to those offered outside prison. This general principle of equivalence is recognised within the EU by a 2003 Council recommendation on the prevention and reduction of health-related harm associated with drug dependence. The current EU drugs action plan (2009–12) calls for its implementation. The issue of health in prisons was the focus of two European conferences held in October and November in Madrid and Oslo.
Several issues regarding prison health and drug use were raised at these events, including the high proportion of drug users in prison, the spread of infectious diseases and the high risk of drug-related deaths after release from prison. The events resulted in specific recommendations covering topics such as the prevention of post-release mortality, notably via the continuation of substitution treatment in prison. Also stressed was the need to boost evidence-based treatment in prison and to strengthen the link between prison and public health services.
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.
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Item Type
Publication Type
International, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
CNS stimulants, New psychoactive substance
Issue Title
Issue 33, Spring 2010
19 April 2010
Page Range
p. 28
Health Research Board
Issue 33, Spring 2010

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