Home > EMCDDA Perspectives on Drugs.

Connolly, Johnny (2015) EMCDDA Perspectives on Drugs. Drugnet Ireland, Issue 53, Spring 2015, p. 20.

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The Perspective on Drugs (PODs) series was initiated by the European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) in 2013 as an accompaniment to its annual European Drug Report. The PODs provide online interactive analyses and a deeper perspective on a selection of important issues. Individual PODs are updated as new developments occur. The PODs introduced to date are summarised below and can be found at http://www.emcdda.europa.eu/topics-a-z


Mass media campaigns for the prevention of drug use in young people

The use of mass media campaigns in drug prevention is both relatively common and not without controversy. Both policymakers and practitioners have hotly debated the effectiveness of such campaigns. This POD reviews available evidence on the topic.


Hepatitis C treatment for injecting drug users

Transmitted through the sharing of needles, syringes and other injecting equipment, hepatitis C is the most common infectious disease among injecting drug users in Europe today. This analysis looks at some of the positive advances in treating the disease, including a new generation of medicines.


Preventing overdose deaths in Europe

It is estimated that over 70,000 lives were lost to drug overdoses in Europe in the first decade of the 21st century. Reducing drug-related deaths, therefore, remains a major challenge for public health policy. This POD describes some of the factors that increase the risk of fatal and non-fatal overdoses and a number of interventions developed to prevent these events.


Treatment for cocaine dependence

The EMCDDA has carried out a meta-analysis of six reviews examining the effectiveness of medications used in treating cocaine problems. The original reviews, undertaken by the Cochrane Drugs and Alcohol Group, involved 92 studies (85 in the US) and over 7,000 participants. This POD shows how some medications can reduce specific symptoms, but no single pharmacological solution has been found for cocaine dependence per se.


Emergency health consequences of cocaine use in Europe

Several thousand cocaine-related emergencies are reported in Europe every year. This POD studies the type of cocaine-related problems reported and the potential of using hospital emergency data for monitoring acute problems associated with this drug.


Trends in heroin use in Europe: what do treatment demand data tell us?

Understanding heroin use trends in Europe is crucial on account of the considerable public health impact of this drug. Treatment demand data are analysed in this POD to assess changes over time in the number of first-time entrants to treatment who report heroin as their main problem drug.


Characteristics of frequent and high-risk cannabis users

Cannabis is Europe’s most commonly used illicit drug, with around 20 million adults (15–64 years) having used it in the last year, and around 3 million on a daily, or almost daily, basis. This POD explores the characteristics of frequent and high-risk cannabis users and reflects on how examination of this group can help design tailored interventions for those most at risk.


Models for the legal supply of cannabis

The three UN Conventions provide the international legal framework on drug control, instructing countries to limit drug supply and use to medical and scientific purposes. Yet, debate continues on the decriminalisation, or even legalisation, of drugs, particularly cannabis. Models under development for the legal supply of cannabis are described in this POD, as well as some of the questions they raise.


New developments in Europe’s cannabis market

Europe has long been one of the world’s largest consumer markets for cannabis, particularly resin imported mainly from Morocco. In this analysis, the EMCDDA reports how Europe’s consumer market for cannabis is increasingly dominated by herbal products, with domestic herbal production supplying national markets. It also describes how imported cannabis resin appears to be getting stronger.


Synthetic cannabinoids in Europe

Synthetic cannabinoids represent the largest group of compounds currently monitored in Europe by the EU early-warning system on new psychoactive substances. Current knowledge on these substances, as well as trends in production, availability and use, are presented in this analysis.


Synthetic drug production in Europe

Synthetic drugs have been produced illicitly in Europe for over 40 years and, by global standards, Europe is a significant producer. Described in this POD are current trends in illicit synthetic drug production


Injection of synthetic cathinones

Over 50 synthetic cathinone derivatives were detected via the EU early-warning system between 2005 and 2013. This POD explores worrying new localised and national outbreaks of injecting these substances and recommends close monitoring of the issue as a public health priority.


Health and social responses to methamphetamine use

Methamphetamine is an established stimulant drug in many parts of the world (e.g. south-east Asia and the US), where it has long caused major public health problems. While methamphetamine use in Europe has historically been confined to the Czech Republic and Slovakia, new pockets and patterns of use are now emerging elsewhere in the EU, in diverse populations. In this analysis, the EMCDDA looks at challenges for the provision of health and social responses to this drug.


Internet-based drug treatment

Over the past 10 years the Internet has become recognised as a credible vehicle for delivering drug and alcohol education, prevention and treatment programmes. This POD charts developments in Internet-based drug treatment and explores some of the benefits it can offer.


Wastewater analysis and drugs

The findings of the largest European project to date in the emerging science of wastewater analysis are described in this POD. The project in question analysed wastewater in over 40 European cities (21 countries) to explore the drug-taking habits of those who live in them. The results reveal marked geographical variations.

Item Type
Publication Type
International, Open Access, Article
Drug Type
Substances (not alcohol/tobacco)
Issue Title
Issue 53, Spring 2015
March 2015
Page Range
p. 20
Health Research Board
Issue 53, Spring 2015

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