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Moore, Joan (2012) From Drugnet Europe. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 40, Winter 2011, p. 33.

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Drugs and driving
Cited from article by Brendan Hughes in Drugnet Europe, No. 76, October–December 2011 

Manycountries around the world are now developing solutions to deal effectively with the problem of drugs and driving. In July 2011, the Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) — in partnership with the EMCDDA, the United States Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) — hosted the first international symposium on the subject in Montreal, Canada.
The purpose of the symposium was to build on the 2011 resolution on drugged driving adopted by the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs. This recognises the importance of a coordinated approach to addressing the health and public safety consequences of this practice, through evidence-based research. A final report on the symposium will be published on the CCSA website (www.ccsa.ca).
In Europe, the complex issue of drugged driving has been the subject of the multi-country DRUID project (Driving under the influence of drugs, alcohol and medicines), which held its final conference in September 2011. The EUR 24 million project, which has published over 30 reports (‘see deliverables’) on its website, used harmonised data-collection protocols to examine the effects of these substances on road safety (www.druid-project.eu).
Overdose deaths — just the tip of the iceberg?
Cited from Drugnet Europe, No. 76, October–December 2011
Over 7 600 fatal overdoses were reported in the EU and Norway in 2009, with opioids associated with the majority of these. But studies suggest that overdose deaths could be just the tip of the iceberg. A Selected issue publication on drug-related mortality published alongside the Annual report estimates that around 10 000 to 20 000 problem opioid users could be dying each year in Europe, mainly from overdose, but also from diseases, suicide and trauma.
The review looks at the ‘excess mortality’ in regular opioid users (risk of death compared with the general population) and finds that their risk of dying is 10 to 20 times higher than for their non-drug-using peers. The report underlines the role that services can play in reducing the human costs of long-term drug problems. Under evaluation in some countries are programmes targeting periods known to be risky for opioid users (e.g. leaving prison, dropping out of treatment).
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:
Health Research Board, Knockmaun House, 42–47 Lower Mount Street, Dublin 2. Tel: 01 2345 148; Email: drugnet@hrb.ie
Item Type
Publication Type
Irish-related, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
Substances (not alcohol/tobacco)
Issue Title
Issue 40, Winter 2011
January 2012
Page Range
p. 33
Health Research Board
Issue 40, Winter 2011
Accession Number
HRB (Electronic Only)

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