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Moore, Joan (2013) From Drugnet Europe. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 47, Autumn 2013, p. 37.

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Health and social responses profiles
Cited from Drugnet Europe, No. 82, April–June 2013 

How are countries in Europe responding to drug use in the areas of treatment, harm reduction, social reintegration and the prison environment? The EMCDDA’s country-by-country Health and social responses profiles (HSRs) aim to answer this question. The profiles include interactive maps and timelines showing the year in which key treatment and harm reduction measures were introduced in Europe. Also included are key source data and a glossary of terms. Available at www.emcdda.europa.eu/countries/hsr-profiles
Perspectives on drugs
Cited from Drugnet Europe, No. 82, April–June 2013
The EMCDDA’s new Perspectives on drugs (PODs) are online analyses providing insights into a selection of important issues. Eleven PODs were released alongside the European Drug Report, covering as many issues, including: new treatment approaches for hepatitis C; high-risk cannabis use; cocaine-related emergencies; and the control of increasingly available new psychoactive substances. The PODs, which incorporate video and interactive features, offer key content in user-friendly summaries downloadable in pdf. Available at www.emcdda.europa.eu/topics/pods
Misuse of medicines in the EU
Cited from Drugnet Europe, No. 83, July–September 2013
The misuse of medicines in Europe is an issue of growing concern. With studies revealing that analgesics, sedatives/ hypnotics and opioid substitution medicines are being consumed in ways other than those medically intended, this phenomenon merits greater awareness.
In order to assess the severity and magnitude of the problem, experts from the EMCDDA and the German national focal point (IFT) carried out a systematic review of the literature on the misuse of these drugs (with the exception of benzodiazepines).1 Relevant literature was identified between 2001 and 2011. The results show that the main groups of misused medicines include opioid analgesics, methadone, buprenorphine and the so-called Z-drugs (e.g. zopiclone, zaleplon, zolpidem). Regional trends in medicine misuse indicate heterogeneity across the EU with respect to misused medicine types and research activities. Prevalence, high-risk populations and factors contributing to medicine misuse are discussed in the review, as are the implications of the findings for prevention, treatment and policy in the EU.
1. Casati, A, Sedefov R and Pfeiffer-Gerschel T (2012) Misuse of medicines in the European Union: a systematic review of the literature. European Addiction Research, 18(5): 228–245.  
New report reveals how a better understanding of the science of addiction can improve our response to drug problems
Cited from Drugnet Europe, No. 83, July–September 2013
Designed to encourage debate and promote understanding of the concept, [a new report from the EMCDDA] Models of addiction1provides a critical review of existing addiction theories and explores how these can be organised into an overarching structure to inform how we assess, prevent and treat addictive behaviours. This is not limited to the traditional illicit drugs of abuse, but also covers alcohol and tobacco use and even non-pharmacological addictions, such as gambling or compulsive use of the Internet.
The new report shows that there is no single model of addiction but competing perspectives sharing common elements. With this peer-reviewed analysis, the EMCDDA supports drug policy by providing a broad definition of the term, covering substance-based and behavioural addiction and reflecting current scientific developments. …
An essential take-home message from the analysis is that, whilst there are advantages to be drawn from our growing understanding of the biological basis of addiction (e.g. ‘brain disease’ model), it is not helpful to be over reductive. The report argues that understanding the broader social and psychological aspects of addictive behaviour can also be important for successful prevention and treatment responses. It provides a basis for a more comprehensive and structured approach to developing responses and highlights the need to draw on a pool of interventions (education, persuasion, training).
1. West R (2013) Models of addiction. EMCDDA Insights Series No. 14. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union.  www.emcdda.europa.eu/publications/insights/models-addiction 
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.
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Item Type
Publication Type
International, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
Substances (not alcohol/tobacco)
Issue Title
Issue 47, Autumn 2013
October 2013
Page Range
p. 37
Health Research Board
Issue 47, Autumn 2013
Accession Number
HRB (Electronic Only)

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