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Moore, Joan (2011) From Drugnet Europe. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 36, Winter 2010, p. 28.

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Over 1 million drug users a year in treatment, but considerable challenges remain

Cited from article in Drugnet Europe, No. 72, October–December 2010
Offering effective treatment to those with substance use problems is a central pillar of Europe’s response to drugs. According to the Annual report 2010, both the quality and quantity of care available to drug users has improved considerably since the 1990s when better access to drug treatment became a drug policy priority.
The report explains how the expansion of treatment has been largely due to the substantial growth in outpatient care, such as psychosocial interventions and substitution treatment. But while underlining the ‘considerable level of treatment provision’ in Europe today, it describes the inequalities that still exist in access to care.
Today, substitution treatment is available in all 27 EU countries, as well as Croatia and Norway, and it is thought to be reaching in total around half of Europe’s problem opioid users. The extent to which this treatment is meeting users’ needs varies greatly between countries. 
The diverse patterns of drug use in Europe today call for treatment services to respond to a more complex set of needs than a decade ago. The report explores progress made in addressing problems other than opioid use. Measures responding to cannabis problems in Europe, for example, now include Internet-based treatment designed to reach those reluctant to seek help within the drug treatment system. And socially integrated powder cocaine users, who may be reluctant to enter services tailored to opioid users, are offered opening hours to accommodate work commitments and provide discretion. Over 50 medical drugs have been evaluated for treating cocaine dependence but, as yet, none have been proven effective. However, more than 100 ongoing randomised controlled trials with new substances are now registered.
Treatment services are more attuned to the needs of users of amphetamines in countries where their problematic use is long established. New attention is paid to these drugs in some countries (e.g. via treatment protocols to guide professionals).
Drugnet Europe is the quarterly newsletter of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA), and is available at www.emcdda.europa.eu
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Item Type
Publication Type
International, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
Substances (not alcohol/tobacco)
Issue Title
Issue 36, Winter 2010
Page Range
p. 28
Health Research Board
Issue 36, Winter 2010
Accession Number
HRB (Available)

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